Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Way of the Ponderosa Pine: Excerpt from the Book of Ways

Excerpt from the Book of Ways: Lore from the Keeper of Ways and Builder of Paths

Way of the Ponderosa Pine

Consider the Ponderosa Pine.  In Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, the presence of this pine mark the edge of the Plains, for they are found in the hills at the western edge, but not out onto the plains themselves.  In the hillls to the south of the Northern Frontrange, they grow among Gambel oak thickets.  In the Foothills to the west, they grow on southern facing slopes with juniper primarily, with the north facing slopes mostly lodgepole pine.  In the Highlands to the north, they grow on the ridges and hills, with scattered shrubs below them.

Ponderosa pine have a much shorter fire cycle than lodgepole, with fires occurring naturally every two to fifteen years.  Unlike the lodgepole, which has thin bark and is easily killed by fire, Ponderosa have thick bark that protects them, the fires killing off the seedlings and clearing the forest floor and leaving the mature trees scarred but alive.  As a result, natural Ponderosa forests have tall trees with very few small ones, other species making up the ground cover.  The fires in Ponderosa stands are also very low intensity, compared to the raging fires of the lodgepole.

The bark also makes this pine more resilient to the western pine beetle, so even though it is still a threat, not near as many are killed by the beetle as are the lodgepole.

The thick bark just mentioned it the most clear offset of the Ponderosa from other species.  It has yellow to red bark that is very thick, with dark to black crevices in it, giving it two of its common names, the blackjack pine and the western yellow pine.  It also has tufts of long needles, setting it apart.  In the Rocky Mountains, most have three needles per tuft, or occasionally two.

The Ponderosa has had many indigenous uses.  The pitch was used as an ointment for various things including sores and scabs, back aches, ear aches, rheumatism, and inflamed eyes.  It was also used to help infants sleep.  The needles were used for female reproductive issues and for skin issues, and for insulation in storage pits.  The roots were used for blue die.  The boughs were used for muscle pain, hemorrhaging, and treatments for children.  The wood was used for building fences, housing, and snowshoes.  Logs were made in canoes.  The bark was used for roofing.  Pollen was used with needles in healing.  Pitch, seeds, cones, bark, buds and cambium were used for food.  There is no part of the tree without a practical use.  It is a tree that provides and nurtures.

It also provides for and nurtures the animals that make their homes in its forests.  Birds roost and nest in its limbs and use it as protection from birds of prey.  Chipmunks, squirrels, and many types of birds eat its seeds.  Grouse use its needles for nesting material.  Rodents and porcupines use its bark for nesting.

A specific example is the Albert's squirrel, which lives only in Ponderosa stands.  This squirrel doesn't gather food to live through the winter nor hibernate like more squirrels and other rodents.  Through the winter, it feeds on the inner bark of the branch tips of the Ponderosa.  It feeds near the top of the tree, chewing off a needle clump, removes the outer bark, then eats the inner bark.  They always return to the same tree each winter.  The Ponderosa has a symbiotic fungus, the EM fungus.  Like the blue stain fungus of the lodgepole, EM fungus for root systems with Ponderosa.  These act as extensions to the roots, helping the tree draw in more water, nitrogen, phosphorus, and various other nutrients from the soil.  In return, the tree provides carbohydrates that the fungus needs to survive.  This is relevant, because the main source of food for the squirrels during the growing season is the sporocarps of this fungus.  The spores survive in the squirrel's digestive tract and are spread through the forest by them, where they join with other pine root systems.  It is possible that the fungi concentration effects the inner bark the squirrel eats, drawing them to return to certain trees, and also that the stunting the squirrels cause on those trees and the reduction in those trees in reproduction as a result to the squirrel effects its relationship with the fungus, causing more sporocarp production.

The Ponderosa grows best in well draining soil, mostly loam, but it will grow in sandy soils as well.  In does well in dry climates and can handle the heat of the sun quite easily.

The Ponderosa pine is outer earth and inner fire.

The outer earth nature is evident in its bark. The bark is similar colour to much of the soil it grows in.  Like the surface of the earth, it protects what's inside, from fire, from cold, from heat, from insects and other threats.  And like the earth, it nurtures and provides for those that come to it, not just animals, but humans as well.

That outer nature is nurturing and and very mother-like, though the fire inside is unforgiving of those that don't respect the tree and can be dangerous to those who don't approach in a respectful manner.

This fire is evident in its intolerance for moist undraining soil, its ability to grow well in hot climates and full sunlight, and its short fire cycle that leaves mature trees unharmed.  These fires are part of its nurturing and providing, as it is important for the health of a forest to be cleaned out periodically.  It provides for both the creation aspect, by providing what those under its care need for life, and the destruction aspect, cleaning things out every so often, but with low intensity and less risk to the animals than a roaring fire would be.

Earth over fire.

Consider this well, and think on it.

Monday, 30 December 2013

The Wind has Teeth: Excerpt from the Book of the Lost: Lore from the Keeper of the Lost and Builder of Storms

The Wind has Teeth
Excerpt from the Book of the Lost: Lore from the Keeper of the Lost and Builder of Storms


There was once a woman who loved fire.  She was a wanderer, never living in one place for long, and every time she moved on to a new place, it followed a fire, maybe a grass fire or forest fire, maybe a building.  She loved fire.  She might have been someone known by many, or she might have been unknown, blending in to her surroundings.  She wasn't either of these, but somewhere in between, known by some, a friend to some, but forgotten when she moved on.  And she always moved on.

One day, she knew her time in the place she was at was running out.  It would be time to move on soon.  It was early summer, the hills starting to dry out after the spring rains.  It was as good of time as any.

She packed light, a pack with only the essentials, a bit of something to burn, the things needed to start a fire, only a small one, that was all it ever took.

She left at dawn, making her way slowly on foot up through the river valleys, working her way to the highlands above.  It was a cloudy day, with strong wind, and she sometimes had to bend her back against it, walking slowly, but she kept going.  It was as good of time as any.

The higher she went, the more wild the winds got, and stronger, and the lower the clouds got, the landscape becoming almost misty, not quite fog.  She walked with her head down, bowed before the wind, taking one step at a time, only looking at the ground in front of her feet.  The wind wasn't steady, not blowing from one direction, but gusting and changing, coming from everywhere and no where.  She had never experienced anything like it.  But she kept going.  It was as good of time as any.

Further up and further in she trudged, and morning gave way to afternoon, and afternoon gave way to evening, the light of dusk fading to the darkest night she had ever seen.  The clouds hung low, so low she almost thought she could touch it, and the wind was biting, strong and gusty, bringing tears to her eyes, making it hard to see, even harder than the darkness.  She could barely see, but she trudged on.  It was as good of time as any.

She had walked many places and much distance in her life.  She was one who could never call a place home for long, enjoying more the freedom of the road, and the wonders of new places.  Wanderlust, some called it, and maybe it was.  She couldn't see spending life in one place.  How could others abide that?  And she couldn't help but leave her mark before leaving.  How could she not?  She loved fire.

Each place she went was as different as the place before as she could make it.  Northern logging towns, desert tourist traps, fishing towns, mining towns, big cities, a ranch out in the country, a wind swept light house.  She could do many jobs, she was a woman of many skills, and in each place she went, she picked up a few more.  She collected vocations like some collected coins.  She was a smith and a fisherman, a weaver and a carpenter, a naturalist and a logger, a tour guide and an activist.  There was nothing she couldn't do, if she chose to, and the more varied her jobs, the more varied the locale, the less likely anyone would look into her past.  She was a private person.  And she loved fire.

Her name changed with her profession, and her appearance as well.  Who was she really?  She didn't know this herself, so how could anyone else?  She had lost that somewhere along the way, burned away who she really was.  The flames had scourged it from her, leaving a changling, a woman with no past, no future, a wanderer, ever moving.  A wanderer who loved fire.

And onward she trudged, into the dark, dark night, the wind whipping around like a thousand hands, reaching for her, pulling at her.  Or a thousand teeth.  But she pushed on, ignoring it as best she could.  It was as good of time as any.

But the wind had more than teeth, it had eyes.  Or so she thought as she plunged on.  She felt watched, not by a person following her or waiting for her, but from anywhere and no where, like the wind itself watched her with a thousand eyes, eyes that glistened red in the darkness, eyes she couldn't see, but could swear she thought she could, a glimpse of thousands of eyes where there was only darkness, eyes that watched hungerly, eyes with teeth.  The wind had eyes and teeth, she thought, and shuddered as the hairs rose on the back of her neck.  But still she kept going.  What else could she do?  She loved fire.  It was as good of time as any.

But the sense of being watched got worse, as did the conviction that the wind had teeth.  What did that mean?  She wasn't certain.  A memory came to her, a story she had heard as a child, a story of something called the Wild Hunt.  The details were wrong.  She didn't have the sense of horses or dogs, of riders or something moving across the night.  But the name stuck in her mind.  The Wild Hunt.  Somehow the details didn't matter.  She was sure it was the right name.  And she named the wind the Wild Hunt.  The wind that had eyes and teeth.  She shuddered in fear, the hairs on all her body on end.  She wasn't sure what to make of it, whether it was a fancy of her mind or real.  But she kept going.  It was as good of time as any.

And on the wind, she thought she heard a voice, not heard but heard, a thousand voices, from a thousand mouths full of teeth, the voice of the wind, not heard as much as felt.  She struggled to make out words, knowing she was just hearing things, they weren't real voices, just a trick of the mind, a trick of the wind.  A hiss, a thousand hisses, the tongues of serpents, yet one voice, the voice of the wind.  And she made out words, whether spoken or her mind playing tricks.

You love fire, do you?  I hear you do.  These hills have eyes and teeth, this wind has eyes and teeth.  Burn us, you say?  Why do you burn?  Try.  Try to burn us.  We dare you.  Can your fire outlast ours?  We've known the fire of a thousand blazes, years without end.  Fires that burned hot and mild fires.  We are no strangers to fire, yet still we endure.  Why do you burn?

I don't know, she thought.  I love fire.  And I must move on, and must leave my mark.  Wanderlust, firelust.  And move on she did, keeping going despite the hissing serpent words, despite the whipping wind, the teeth, the eyes.  It was as good of time as any.

We have eyes, we see you.  You don't see you.  You are blind even though you see.  You are lost, you know not where you wander.  Or why you burn, why the fire burns.  But we have eyes, the wind has eyes.  We see you.  Do you see us?

I see nothing, she thought.  All is darkness, all is wind.  Maybe I am blind.  But she knew she wasn't, just as she knew she didn't really hear the hissing whispering voices, just as she knew she wasn't really watched by red eyes in the darkness, just as she knew the wind didn't really have teeth, that the Wild Hunt was a myth, and didn't look or feel like this anyway, it was a different thing.  It was the darkness and the wind playing tricks on her.  And maybe it was.  It was as good of time as any.

We have teeth, we smell you.  You smell of fear and prey.  We are hungry.  Our teeth can burn like fire.  You can find fire, you can burn.  What do you seek when you wander?  Do you seek true fire, tongues of fire, teeth of fire?  Do you seek our hunger?  Are you prey?  You fear.  You fear like prey.  We hunt, you fear.  Can you run?  Will you run?  Will you run like prey?  The wind has teeth.

And she did run, as best she could in the mist and wind and darkness.  She ran with all she had, pushed forward by her fear.  And the wind had teeth, she was sure now.  The wind hungered.  The wind smelled her fear.  So she ran, she ran like prey.  She ran hoping she could outrun the wind.  It was as good of time as any.

She ran and ran, as fast as she could.  She stumbled, fell, but rose and ran.  Onward and upward, further in and further up, trying to outrun the wind, the wind that had teeth.

And she fell in the end, fell with pain and breaking bones.  She struggled to rise but could not.  She could run no more, and she couldn't fight.  How can you outrun the wind?  How can you fight the wind?  The wind had teeth, she found, and they were sharp and hungry.

And she was no more in this world, and the next day, a rancher found blood across the grass of the hill, as he had before and would again.  And he muttered something about the lost and shook his head, and moved on, and never spoke of it.

But in the hills it is whispered that there are dangerous things, and that there is a wind, and the wind has teeth.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

An Ode to Sky Gods and Thier Ilk

Ok, so I'm testing out Create Space, Amazon's self publishing system, to see if it will work for my book. As a test, I'm putting together a collection of poetry and photos called An Ode to Sky Gods and Their Ilk. It's going to contain a bunch of my poems about things in the sky and photos of the Wyoming sky. I wrote the poems over about a year, a few years back, and took pictures to go with them, originally planned as a blog post, but it ended up too large and never got posted. A few of the poems, I've posted on Muninn's Laughter, but most no one has seen. Some of the photos I've shared places, some I have not. We'll see how this goes. Hopefully people will like it. FFF, ~Muninn's Kiss

Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Spider's Song: I Made an Offering of Wind...

I made an offering of wind upon the altar of dust.  ~Grimr
In the beginning was a song.  The song.  The only song there ever was, and ever will be.  It was a love song, and a song of loneliness.  It was a song of joy and sorrow, of love and loss, of peace and war, of life and death.  It was the song of creation, the song of all things.  It was the spider's song.

It began with one note, ringing out through the outer darkness, like a single bell rang in a place of silence, or a the first harp string plucked.  It was a pure note, perfect, the only note that could pierce that silence, the silence of the outer dark.  It was the voice of the Nagara, the single note that was all, the love song of the Nagara to the Nagara, deep calling out to deep.  And it hung there in the darkness like a spark of light, like a seed, like a single harp string, or a single thread.  It was the first thread of the web, a single thread in the abyss of the outer darkness, a note ringing for none to hear.

And it echoed.  That single note reflected back on itself, reflecting off that which is not, the dark curve of the darkness.  It echoed back and in doing so, it changed, not the same as it was going out.  It rang in harmony with itself, a perfect harmonic, a perfect fifth.  The danced, round and round, catalyst and nexus, nexus and catalyst.  And so, one note became two, one thread became two, both vibrating in the darkness of the abyss, in the outer darkness, the first two threads of the web.  Two notes, hearing each other, responding to each other, first in dissonance, then in consonance, the dance of the twins.

From their play a third note arose.  It vibrated between them, both notes moving the third, the perfect third, a chord in the silence of the dark.  Three notes ringing out, moving, shifting.  A perfect chord.  Three mothers, three weavers each moving each other.  Three threads hanging in the abyss, the first three threads of the web.

But the song wasn't finished.  The chord grew and the perfect seventh came forth, four notes, four threads, stretching out into the abyss in four directions, four winds.  And still the song grew, for where there's a first, a third, a fifth, a seventh, there, too, there's a second, a fourth, and a sixth.  Seven notes ringing out through the darkness, and a melody formed, the vibrations of the web.  Seven builders, seven keepers, seven guardians.
Breath.  What is breath?  Breath is life, for even many one celled life take in oxygen and need it to live.  Breath is wind, for it is the movement of gas, in or out.  There is no breath in a vacuum.

Breath.  What is breath?  Breath is the most basic of sounds.  From it comes the vowel sounds in all oral languages, the sounds made without obstruction, without build up.  Sound passing through only changed in sound by the narrowness or movement of the side it passes between.  It is outward moving air, unblocked, unfettered, unbound, loosed.

Breath, vowels, are the first notes of music, pure sound, untempered.  They are the notes of the sound of the music, of a song, the song, the first song.  They are the beginning.

Breath bound, tied, constrained, blocked, fettered, becomes consonants.  As the vowels are given form, as the tent pole is raised, the bound vowels becomes first Three Mothers, then Seven Doubles, then Twelve Singles.  22 consonants, 22 letter.  Two Dancers, Three Weavers, Seven Builders, twelve in all, twelve notes, twelve threads, Twelve Watchers.

And consonants gather around vowels, the bound around the loosed, and words form.  Words, symbols of ideas.  And the complexity grows, the song grows.  Three Mothers, Seven Doubles, Twelve Singles, 22 consonants, 29 sounds, become 231 Gates, each gate a pair of consonants, the first and the fifth.  And the 231 Gates are joined by others, 20 consonants added to the beginning, to the middle, to the end, 13,860 roots if none repeat.  And roots combine to be words, and words combine to form sentences, and sentences combine to form paragraphs, and paragraphs combine to form chapters, and chapters combine to form books, and books combine to form sets and series, and sets and series combine to form shelves, and shelves combine to form racks, and racks combine to form rows, and rows combine to form stacks, and stacks combine to form floors, that the whole world is a library, the 10,000 things.

Every note holds power.  Every breath holds power.  Every vowel holds power.  Every sound holds power.  Every consonant holds power.  Every word holds power, every sentence, every paragraph.  And the longer they exist, the more they are used, the more their power grows.

Stand in a used bookstore or library.  Look at all those books.  How many are there?  How many words do they contain? How many letters do those words contain?  Each sound is a note in the song, the song of creation.  Each sound is a vibration in the web that is all, stretched across the face of the deep, the abyss, the outer darkness.  How much power is in those pages?  What secrets?  What notes?

Now think of the world.  How many books are in the world?  Right now.  And how many words in each one?

Now think of all time.  How many books have there been?  How many will there be?  And how many words in each one?

Now realize that books are just the ideas, the thoughts, the words that have been written down.  They are written language.  They have meaning because of the oral language that spawned them, the consonants with bound flow, the vowels with looses flow.  The power is in that oral language, the written is only that small piece that was written down, loosed power bound into a page.  How many words are spoken that are never recorded?  Each is a note in the song, the song of creation, the spider's song.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.  And God said: 'Let there be light.' And there was light." ~Genesis 1:1-3 JPS 1917 Edition of the Hebrew Bible in English
"darkness was upon the face of the deep" - וּ וְחֹשֶׁךְ עַל-פְּנֵי תְהוֹם - v choshek 'al-peniy tehowm
וּ - v - and
וְחֹשֶׁךְ - choshek - darkness, obscurity, secret place
עַל-פְּנֵי - 'al-peniy - the face, the presence, the person, the surface of, that which is in front of, before, toward
תְהוֹם - tehowm - deep, depths, deep places, abyss, sea, ocean, abyss, grave
"spirit of God" - וְרוּחַ אֱלֹהִים - Ruwach 'elohiym - Ruach Elohim
רוּחַ - Ruwach, Ruach - breath, wind, air, gas, spirit, vivacity, vigour, courage, temper, anger, desire, sorrow, will, energy of life
אֱלֹהִים - 'elohiym, Elohim - rulers, judges, divine ones, angels, gods, god, goddess, godlike one, G-d
"hovered over the face of the waters" - מְרַחֶפֶת עַל-פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם - mrachaphit 'al-peniy mayim
מְ - m - from
רַחֶפֶת - rachaphit - to grow soft, relax, to hover
עַל-פְּנֵי - 'al-peniy - the face, the presense, the person, the surface of, that which is in front of, before, toward
הַמָּיִם - mayim - water, waters, urine, springs, fountains, flood

So we could read is as:
"and the secret place was upon the surface of the ocean, and the breath of the rulers settled upon the surface of the water."
or:
"and that which hides the face of the abyss, the wind of the gods, from the face of the water."
or:
"and darkness was the presence of the grave, the temper of the gods toward the flood."
But, a bit of a tangent.

Ruach is breath, but also wind and life.  Ruach is also, in Kabbalah, part of the soul.  In this way, it is the emotions, will, and energy of life.

The Breath.  The Soul.  The Wind.  Life.  Ruach, hovering above the waters of the abyss, in the darkness, is the notes of the song, which are also the threads of the web.

In the beginning was a song.
The song.
The only song there ever was, and ever will be.
It was a love song, and a song of loneliness.
It was a song of joy and sorrow, of love and loss, of peace and war, of life and death.
It was the song of creation, the song of all things.
It was the spider's song.

I made an offering of wind upon the altar of dust.

FFF,
~Muninn's Kiss

Friday, 14 December 2012

Kickstarter Campaign a No-Go but Book Still in the Works

Okay, I think I timed my kickstarter campaign for my book poorly. The campaign ends tomorrow, but with work changes, I haven't had any time to promote it or give updates, and I haven't received a single pledge. At this point, any pledges 
won't be enough, so no one will be charged anything and no money will come to me, even if people pledge in the next day. So if you were thinking about it, don't worry about it. I'll either find a cheaper or non-self funded method of publishing or it will be released later. I'm still going to try to complete it before summer, but publication will probably be further out. This probably just means it wasn't time for the book yet, which I'm fine with. I'll keep everyone updated as I progress and as I find other options if there's a better way to do it. Any advise is appreciated. You can still read the campaign, but please don't pledge on it at this point, as it won't help and will just take your time that would be better used elsewhere.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/muninnskiss/grimrs-grimoire-a-book-of-myths-from-the-spiders-w

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Book Update: Grimr's Grimoire

Okay, I'm looking at seriously moving forward on my book that I've discussed a few times. I've been working on it off and on, and have the basic idea and structure worked out, and some of the content.

This will be the first of three books if I can pull it off and there's enough interest to move forward on more after the first. I've nicknamed this one the White Book. It will be called Grimr's Grimoire: a Book of Myths from the Spider's Web. The second potential book, the Black Book, will be Tome of the Builders: a Book of More Myths from the Spider's Web. The third and final, the Red Book, will be Codex of the Dancers: the Final Book of Myths from the Spider's Web.

The purpose of the books is to teach the fundamentals of Grimr and my practice in a way that can be applied outside the Grimr context and lead people to a more independent, dynamic, and powerful esoteric practice. They will include myths, lore, poetry, experience, theory, and praxis in a consistent format that people with different backgrounds and learning styles can connect with. I will attempt to do in writing what is fundamentally accomplished through oral teaching. Not all readers will connect with the material, because it is essentially esoteric mystery. My hope is that enough will to make the writing and publishing of the books a worth while venture.

At the moment, I intend for all three books to have the same basic structure to each chapter. Each chapter will start with an opening poem to set the stage for the chapter and plant the seeds in the reader that will grow throughout the chapter. This will in a way be an invocation.

After the opening poem, there will be a major myth. This myth will be the core of the chapter, and all the myths in the books will tie together with larger themes. The myth will relate the core material of the chapter in story form, with the purpose stories in many cultures serve to pass down the ideas that are central to the family or tribe.

Following each major myth will be a commentary on that myth, helping the reader to connect on a conscious, intellectual level. After the commentary will be a ritual section, maybe one ritual, maybe three, not any more than that but I don't want to limit to one if the chapter lends well to multiple. The rituals will probably vary a lot in nature and makeup. I don't want to just give a script and say, do this, I want to provide a framework to help the reader develop their own while still experience the material in a tangible, usable way that will allow them to understand the material on a physical, emotional, and intuitive level. But I also want to help them be able to use what they learn from the material on a practical real level, not just creative visualization and psychobabble. And I want them to come away from the book knowing how to construct their own ritual to be able to do the work themselves and not just follow ceremony and scripts.

After the commentary and ritual sections, I'm planning on closing the chapter with a minor myth related to the first but pulling things back from head space and ritual space back into story, tying everything back together. And then I'll have a closing poem bringing it to a close.

The first book is currently slated to contain the following thirteen chapters:

1. Exitium in Initio Ponebatur: An Introduction to Grimr and the Grimoire
2. The Prophet and the Mirror: Through a Mirror Darkly
3. The Priest and the Bridge: Across the Abyss
4. The Poet and the Cauldron: Stillness and Motion and the Inspiration of Change
5. The King and the Wasteland: Sacred and Sacrificial Kingship and the Land
6. The Wanderer and the Mask: A Thousand Frightful Faces
7. The Mistress and the Blade: Hidden Lovers and Thrice Cut Threads
8. The Watchers and the Ten Thousand Things: A Myriad Divisions of Variety and Distraction
9. The Builders and the Compass: The Star Map of Eternity
10. The Weavers and the Threads of Fate: Into the Spider's Web
11. The Dancers and the Eternal Dance: The Catalyst and The Nexus
12. The Nagara and Everything: Secret Names and the Unity of Illusion
13. Ex nihilo: The Beginning of All Things

I have created a Kickstarter project to raise the necessary money to get the first book written and published. I'm hoping for publication next June (2013) if I can get the writing and footwork done by then. I have not made the Kickstarter project live yet, but hope to in the next week or two. I'm going to attempt to raise $2000 to cover the expenses to get it to press and available as an eBook with the major readers, plus provide some copies and fun items for some of those that contribute to the project. The project will only run for 30 days, and if I don't reach the $2000 goal, I won't get any of it to work with, so I'm hoping it brings in enough to make this happen.

FFF,
~Muninn's Kiss

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Reading List


Below is my newest updated reading list.  The official version I will update, in an indexed form, can be found by link at the top of this blog or with any of the following links:




While it is practice that defines a path, tradition, or system, and it cannot be learned from books, but only passed down or experienced, books and other media can provide pointers to practice and can serve as guides or inspiration to find the Truth that must be found alone.  The reading suggestions on this page form a collection of pointers that might help the seeker, student, or practitioner to dig deeper and find the Truth they seek.  This list is mostly non-Grimr sources but contain truth and ideas relevant to Grimr.  All must be taken critically and not taken as necessarily true or complete.  There is a saying in Huna, that not all knowledge is taught in one school.  Use this list to find tidbits and hints to find what you truly seek.


Non-Fiction

The following are called "non-fiction" not because anything in them is true, but because they are no intentionally fiction. There is truth in all things, but also illusion, lapwings, and lies. Always judge for yourself. The following are arranged by category. None are directly Grimr books, but contain truth that will help both those pursuing Grimr and those on different paths. Take what you can, throw out what you can't, and weigh and judge all. May you find a seed of wisdom in each of these books. Some categories overlap, and I've listed the books in multiple categories. The categories reflect my views on the books, not necessarily those of the authors or other readers. In each category, books are sorted by author, series, and date.

American Witchcraft
  • Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America - Margot Adler
  • Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition - Cora Anderson
  • Thorns of the Blood Rose - Victor H. Anderson
  • Lilith's Garden - Victor H. Anderson
  • Heart of the Initiate: Feri Lessons - Victor and Cora Anderson
  • Etheric Anatomy: The Three Selves and Astral Travel - Victor H. Anderson, Cora Anderson
  • Evolutionary Witchcraft - T. Thorn Coyle
  • Kissing the Limitless: Deep Magic and the Great Work of Transforming Yourself and the World - T. Thorn Coyle
  • Goddess Initiation: A Practical Celtic Program for Soul-Healing, Self-Fulfillment & Wild Wisdom - Francesca De Grandis
  • Share My Insanity: It Improves Everything - Francesca De Grandis
  • Children of Cain: A Study of Modern Traditional Witches - Michael Howard
  • The White Wand: Ruminations, Meditations, Reflections Toward a Feri Aesthetic - April Niino
  • The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess - Starhawk
  • Truth or Dare: Encounters with Power, Authority, and Mystery - Starhawk
  • The DustBunnies' Big Damn Handout Volume I - Valerie Walker

Balkan Witchcraft
  • Balkan Traditional Witchcraft - Radomir Ristic, Translated by Michael C. Carter, Jr.

British Isle History
  • Book of Invasions - Anonymous
  • History of the Kings of Britain - Geoffrey of Monmouth
  • Blood & Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain - Ronald Hutton

British Witchcraft
  • Azoetia: A Grimoire of the Sabbatic Craft - Andrew D. Chumbley
  • Qutub. Or, The Point - Andrew D. Chumbley
  • Mysticism: Initiation and Dream - Andrew D. Chumbley
  • The Robert Cochrane Letters: An Insight into Modern Traditional Witchcraft - Robert Cochrane, Evan John Jones
  • Pillars of Tubal Cain- Nigel Jackson, Michael Howard
  • The Book of Fallen Angels- Michael Howard
  • Children of Cain: A Study of Modern Traditional Witches - Michael Howard
  • The Roebuck in the Thicket: An Anthology of Robert Cochrane Witchcraft Tradition - Evan John Jones, Robert Cochrane, Michael Howard
  • The God of the Witches -Margaret Murray
  • Tubelo's Green Fire: Mythos, Ethos, Female, Male & Priestly Mysteries of the Clan of Tubal Cain - Shani Oates
  • The Star Crossed Serpent Volume I: Origins: Evan John Jones 1966-1998: The Legend of Tubal Cain - Evan John Jones & Shani Oates
  • The Star Crossed Serpent Volume II: The Legacy Continues: Shani Oates 1998-Present: The Legend of Tubal Cain - Shani Oates
  • The Rebirth of Witchcraft - Doreen Valiente
  • Witchcraft: A Tradition Renewed - Doreen Valiente, Evan John Jones

Buddhism and Hinduism
  • Kalachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation - His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Translated by Jeffrey Hopkins

Celtic Myth and Legend
  • Book of Invasions - Anonymous
  • Blood & Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain - Ronald Hutton
  • The Grail: From Celtic Myth to Christian Symbol - Roger Sherman Loomis
  • The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Myth and Legend: A Definitive Sourcebook of Magic, Vision, and Lore - John and Caitlin Matthews

Ceremonial Magic, Grimoire Tradition,Rosicrucian, Golden Dawn, and Thelema Related
  • 231 Gates of Initiation & The 32 Paths of Wisdom Tarot - Rawn Clark
  • Magic in Theory and Practice - Aleister Crowley 
  • The Book of Lies - Aleister Crowley
  • The Book of Thoth: A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians, Being the Equinox Volume III No. V - Aleister Crowley
  • The Book of the Law: Liber Al Gel Legis - Aleister Crowley
  • Chicken Qabalah - Lon Milo DuQuette
  • The Lesser Key of Solomon - S. L. MacGregor Matters
  • The Greater Key of Solomon - S. L. MacGregor Matters
  • The Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind and Magic - Israel Regardie

Charms and Spells
  • The ABC of Magic Charms - Elizabeth Pepper

Christian Mystics and Mysticism
  • The Cloud of Unknowing - Anonymous
  • The Interior Castle - St. Teresa of Avila
  • The Way of Perfection - St. Teresa of Avila
  • The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila By Herself - St. Teresa of Avila
  • The Dialogue - Catherine of Siena
  • Little Flowers of St. Francis - Brother Ugolino
  • Living with Contradiction: An Introduction to Benedictine Spirituality - Ether de Waal

Cultus Sabbati
  • Azoetia: A Grimoire of the Sabbatic Craft - Andrew D. Chumbley
  • Qutub. Or, The Point - Andrew D. Chumbley
  • Mysticism: Initiation and Dream - Andrew D. Chumbley

The Devil
  • Satan: The Early Christian Tradition - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern World - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • The Prince of Darkness: Evil and the Power of Good of History - Jeffrey Burton Russell

Etruscan, Greek, and Roman Myth and History
  • The Golden Bough - James George Frazer
  • The Golden Ass of Apuleius - Translated by Robert Graves
  • Diodorus Siculus: Library of History - Diodorus Siculus

European Heresy, Dissent, and Religious History
  • Miracles and Pilgrims: Popular Beliefs in Medieval England - Ronald C. Finucane
  • Blood & Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain - Ronald Hutton
  • The Return of the Dead: Ghosts, Ancestors, and the Transparent Veil of the Pagan Mind - Claude Lecoiteux
  • The Formation Of A Persecuting Society: Power And Deviance In Western Europe,950-1250- R.I. Moore
  • The Origins of European Dissent - R.I. Moore
  • Inquisition - Edward Peters
  • Dissent and Reform in the Early Middle Ages - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • Witchcraft in the Middle Ages - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • Religious Dissent in the Middle Ages - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • Satan: The Early Christian Tradition - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern World - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • The Prince of Darkness: Evil and the Power of Good of History - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • A History of Medieval Christianity: Prophecy and Order - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics, Pagans - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • Dissent and Order in the Middle Ages: The Search for Legitimate Authority - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • A History of Heaven: The Singing Silence - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • Paradise Mislaid: How We Lost Heaven and How We Can Regain It - Jeffrey Burton Russell

Faeries and other Hidden People
  • An Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies,  and Other Supernatural Creatures - Katharine Briggs
  • Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia - Carol Rose
  • A Field Guide to Irish Fairies - Bob Curran

Feri Tradition and Related or Influenced Traditions
  • Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition - Cora Anderson
  • Thorns of the Blood Rose - Victor H. Anderson
  • Lilith's Garden - Victor H. Anderson
  • Etheric Anatomy: The Three Selves and Astral Travel - Victor H. Anderson, Cora Anderson
  • Heart of the Initiate: Feri Lessons - Victor and Cora Anderson
  • Evolutionary Witchcraft - T. Thorn Coyle
  • Kissing the Limitless: Deep Magic and the Great Work of Transforming Yourself and the World - T. Thorn Coyle
  • Goddess Initiation: A Practical Celtic Program for Soul-Healing, Self-Fulfillment & Wild Wisdom- Francesca De Grandis
  • Share My Insanity: It Improves Everything - Francesca De Grandis
  • The White Wand: Ruminations, Meditations, Reflections Toward a Feri Aesthetic - April Niino
  • The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess - Starhawk
  • Truth or Dare: Encounters with Power, Authority, and Mystery - Starhawk
  • The Dust Bunnies' Big Damn Handout Volume I - Valerie Walker

Healing, Plants, and Herbalism
  • The Web That Has No Weaver - Ted J. Kaptchuk
  • The Herb Book: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to More than 500 Herbs - John B. Lust
  • Practical Chinese Medicine - Penelope Ody
  • Plants of Life, Plants of Death - Frederick J. Simoons
  • The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty, A Safe Home Environment - Valerie Ann Worwood

Italian Witchcraft
  • Aradia: Gospel of the Witches -Charles Godfrey Leland

Jewish, Arabic, and Middle Eastern Magic and Traditions
  • Black Book of the Yezidi
  • Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation
  • The Zohar
  • The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Seasons - Jill Hammer
  • Magic that Works: Practical Training for the Children of Light - Frances Harrison, Nineveh Shadrach
  • I Asked For Wonder: A Spiritual Anthology - Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • The Guide for the Perplexed - Moses Maimonides
  • The Kabbalah: The Essential Texts From the Zohar - Bharat Rochlin
  • Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism - Howard Schwartz, Caren Loebel-Fried, Eliot K. Ginsburg

Judaism and the Kabbalah
  • Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation
  • The Zohar
  • The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for All Seasons - Jill Hammer
  • I Asked For Wonder: A Spiritual Anthology - Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • The Guide for the Perplexed - Moses Maimonides
  • The Kabbalah: The Essential Texts From the Zohar - Bharat Rochlin
  • Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism - Howard Schwartz, Caren Loebel-Fried, Eliot K. Ginsburg

King Arthur, the Grail, and Arthurian Legend
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Anonymous
  • The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arthurian Legends - Ronan Coghlan
  • The Grail: From Celtic Myth to Christian Symbol - Roger Sherman Loomis
  • The Oxford Guide to Arthurian Literature and Legend - Alan Lupack
  • Le Morte D'Arthur - Thomas Malory
  • The Elements of the Grail Tradition - John Matthews
  • The Faerie Queene - Sir Edmund Spenser
  • Erec and Enide - Chrétien de Troyes
  • Cligès - Chrétien de Troyes
  • Yvain, the Knight of the Lion - Chrétien de Troyes
  • Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart - Chrétien de Troyes
  • Perceval, the Story of the Grail - Chrétien de Troyes

Literary Theory
  • Monster Theory: Reading Culture - Jeffrey Jerome Cohen

Miscellaneous Non-Fiction
  • The Book of Qualities - J. Ruth Gendler
  • Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom - Caitlin Matthews 
  • Stillness Speaks - Eckhart Tolle

Mythology, Faerie Tales, Folk Stories, and Inventive History
  • Book of Invasions - Anonymous
  • Phantoms and Fairies from Norwegian Folklore - Tor Age Bringsvaerd
  • The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arthurian Legends - Ronan Coghlan
  • A Field Guide to Irish Fairies - Bob Curran
  • Roles of the Northern Goddess - Hilda Ellis Davidson
  • The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion - James George Frazer
  • History of the Kings of Britain - Geoffrey of Monmouth
  • The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth - Robert Graves
  • The Golden Ass of Apuleius - Translated by Robert Graves
  • Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages - Claude Lecouteux
  • The Return of the Dead: Ghosts, Ancestors, and the Transparent Veil of the Pagan Mind - Claude Lecoiteux
  • Aradia: Gospel of the Witches -Charles Godfrey Leland
  • The Grail: From Celtic Myth to Christian Symbol - Roger Sherman Loomis
  • The Oxford Guide to Arthurian Literature and Legend - Alan Lupack
  • The Elements of the Grail Tradition - John Matthews
  • The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Myth and Legend: A Definitive Sourcebook of Magic, Vision, and Lore - John and Caitlin Matthews
  • Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia - Carol Rose
  • The Religion of the Teutons - Pierre Daniel Chantepie de la Saussaye
  • Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism - Howard Schwartz
  • Diodorus Siculus: Library of History - Diodorus Siculus
  • Plants of Life, Plants of Death - Frederick J. Simoons
  • The Poetic Edda - Snorri Sturluson
  • The Prose Edda - Snorri Sturluson
  • Primal Myths: Creation Myths Around the World - Barbara C. Sproul
  • Goddess of the North - Lynda C. Welch
  • Magical Creatures - The Witches' Almanac, LTD.

Northern European and Asian Shamanism
  • Phantoms and Fairies from Norwegian Folklore - Tor Age Bringsvaerd
  • Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy - Mircea Eliade
  • Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages - Claude Lecouteux
  • Riding Windhorses: A Journey into the Heart of Mongolian Shamanism - Sarangerel

Northern European and Heathen Traditions, Myth, Magic, and Practice
  • Roles of the Northern Goddess - Hilda Ellis Davidson
  • The Elements of the Runes - Bernard King
  • Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages - Claude Lecouteux
  • The Religion of the Teutons - Pierre Daniel Chantepie de la Saussaye
  • The Poetic Edda - Snorri Sturluson
  • The Prose Edda - Snorri Sturluson
  • Northern Magic: Rune Mysteries and Shamanism - Edred Thorsson

Possession
  • Drawing Down the Spirits: The Traditions and Techniques of Spirit Possession - Kenaz Filan, Raven Kaldera

Robert Cochrane, Clan of Tubal Cain, and Related or Influenced Traditions
  • The Robert Cochrane Letters: An Insight into Modern Traditional Witchcraft - Robert Cochrane, Evan John Jones
  • The Roebuck in the Thicket: An Anthology of Robert Cochrane Witchcraft Tradition - Evan John Jones, Robert Cochrane, Michael Howard
  • Tubelo's Green Fire: Mythos, Ethos, Female, Male & Priestly Mysteries of the Clan of Tubal Cain - Shani Oates
  • The Star Crossed Serpent Volume I: Origins: Evan John Jones 1966-1998: The Legend of Tubal Cain - Evan John Jones & Shani Oates
  • The Star Crossed Serpent Volume II: The Legacy Continues: Shani Oates 1998-Present: The Legend of Tubal Cain - Shani Oates

Saints, Sages, Hermits, and Other Figures
  • Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints, and Sages: A Guide to Asking for Protection, Wealth, Happiness, and Everything Else! - Judika Illes

Taoism, Chinese Folk Religion and Practice, and East Asian Thought and History
  • I Ching - Anonymous
  • The Web That Has No Weaver - Ted J. Kaptchuk
  • The Elements of Feng Shui - Man-Ho Kwok, Joanne O'Brien
  • Practical Chinese Medicine - Penelope Ody
  • Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai - Yamamoto Tsunetomo
  • Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu
  • The Art of War - Sun Tzu

Traditional Witchcraft and Witchcraft History
  • Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America - Margot Adler
  • Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition - Cora Anderson
  • Heart of the Initiate: Feri Lessons - Victor and Cora Anderson
  • The Robert Cochrane Letters: An Insight into Modern Traditional Witchcraft - Robert Cochrane, Evan John Jones
  • Magic and Witchcraft: From Shamanism to the Technopagans - Nevill Drury
  • The Book of Fallen Angels - Michael Howard
  • Children of Cain: A Study of Modern Traditional Witches - Michael Howard
  • Pillars of Tubal Cain - Nigel Jackson, Michael Howard
  • Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft - Ronald Hutton
  • Masks of Misrule: The Horned God & His Cult in Europe - Nigel Jackson
  • Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages - Claude Lecouteux
  • Aradia: Gospel of the Witches -Charles Godfrey Leland
  • The God of the Witches -Margaret Murray
  • Balkan Traditional Witchcraft - Radomir Ristic, Translated by Michael C. Carter, Jr.
  • Witchcraft in the Middle Ages - Jeffrey Burton Russell
  • A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics, Pagans - Jeffrey Burton Russell and Brooks Alexander
  • The Rebirth of Witchcraft - Doreen Valiente
  • Witchcraft: A Tradition Renewed - Doreen Valiente, Evan John Jones

War, Martial Thought, and Fighting
  • Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai - Yamamoto Tsunetomo
  • The Art of War - Sun Tzu


Poetry

Victor Anderson once said, "White magic is poetry, black magic is anything that works," and "Every poem is a love letter to the Goddess." Poetry is the language of the soul, or ritual, of magic. It speaks on a deeper level than prose does, and can say things that can't be put into words any other way.
  • Thorns of the Blood Rose - Victor H. Anderson
  • Lilith's Garden - Victor H. Anderson
  • Azoetia: A Grimoire of the Sabbatic Craft - Andrew D. Chumbley
  • Qutub. Or, The Point - Andrew D. Chumbley
  • The Faerie Queene - Sir Edmund Spenser


Fiction

Not all stories are false, not all tales are lies. The following are considered fiction because they were written as fiction, not because the are not true, or true for that matter. These is truth in all things. Read them as fiction, but look for the truth underneath. I have grouped them in categories, then sorted them by author then series. The books listed aren't the only good ones by these authors, but are the ones I see truth in relating to Grimr. My he who has eyes see and she who has ears hear.

Fantasy

Anne Bishop
  • Daughter of the Blood
  • Heir to the Shadows
  • Queen of Darkness
  • The Invisible Ring
  • Dreams Made Flesh
  • Tangled Webs
  • The Shadow Queen
  • Shalador's Lady
  • Twilight's Dawn
  • The Pillars of the World
  • Shadows and Light
  • The House of Gaian
  • Sebastian
  • Belladonna
  • The Voice: An Ephernera Novella
  • Bridge of Dreams

Steven Brust
  • Jhereg
  • Yendi
  • Teckla
  • Taltos
  • Phoenix
  • Athyra
  • Orca
  • Dragon
  • Issola
  • Dzur
  • Jhegaala
  • Iorich
  • Tiassa
  • Broken Down Palace
  • To Reign in Hell

Lewis Carroll
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  • Through the Looking Glass

David Eddings
  • The Diamond Throne
  • The Ruby Knight
  • The Sapphire Rose
  • Domes of Fire
  • The Shining Ones
  • The Hidden City

Lyndon Hardy
  • Master of the Five Magics
  • Secret of the Sixth Magic
  • Riddle of the Seven Realms

Robin Hobb
  • Assassin's Apprentice
  • Royal Assassin
  • Assassin's Quest
  • Ship of Magic
  • The Mad Ship
  • Ship of Destiny
  • Fool's Errand
  • Golden Fool
  • Fool's Fate
  • Dragon Keeper
  • Dragon Haven
  • City of Dragons
  • Blood of Dragons

Nancy Springer
  • The Book of Suns
  • The White Hart
  • The Silver Sun
  • The Sable Moon
  • The Black Beast
  • The Golden Swan
  • Chance and Other Gestures of the Hand of Fate

King Arthur, Grail, and Arthurian Legend

Stephen R. Lawhead
  • Taleisen
  • Merlin
  • Arthur
  • Pendragon
  • Grail
  • Avalon: the Return of King Arthur

Nancy Springer
  • I am Mordred
  • I am Morgan le Fay

Mary Stewart
  • The Crystal Cave
  • The Hollow Hills
  • The Last Enchantment
  • The Wicked Day
  • The Prince and the Pilgrim

T.H. White
  • The Once and Future King
  • The Book of Merlyn

Celtic Myth and Legend

Lloyd Alexander
  • The Book of Three
  • The Black Cauldron
  • The Castle of Llyr
  • Taran Wanderer
  • The High King

Stephen R. Lawhead
  • The Paradise War
  • The Silver Hand
  • The Endless Knot
  • The Iron Lance
  • The Black Rood
  • The Mystic Rose

Robin Hood Legend

Stephen R. Lawhead
  • Hood
  • Scarlet
  • Tuck

Modern Day

Hal Duncan
  • Vellum
  • Ink
Neil Gaiman
  • American Gods

John Twelve Hawks
  • The Traveler
  • The Dark River
  • The Golden City
Mythology, Faerie Tales, Folk Stories, and Inventive History
  • The Complete Brother Grimm Fairy Tales
  • One Thousand and One Arabian Nights
  • Aesop's Fables
  • Andersen's Fairy Tales

Graphic Novels
  • The Sandman - Neil Gaiman
  • Promethea - Alan Moore, J.H. Williams III, Mick Gray


Magazines and Periodicals

Magazines and periodicals of course vary from books in that they are on going, not one time projects. Because of this on going nature, they can address more topics within the stated subject. The following are magazines or periodicals that have had presented articles in the past that were interesting or helpful in context of Grimr.


Blogs and Website Articles

In this information age, many good books are available that would never have been published fifty years ago.  But there are a lot of rotten books, books that are lapwings leading you away from the Truth.  This is doubly true on the Internet where anyone with access to a computer can commit their thought or ideas where the whole world can read them.  You have to be careful and separate the crap from the good stuff.  Usually, the best thing is to use the Internet to point you in the direction of more verifiable sources, or go out and do the work yourself.  However, there are articles and blogs on the Internet worth while reading, that can lead you to Truth. The following are a few.  Some of these are my own, but most are other people's.  Some are no longer updated, but include good information.

Articles and Websites with Articles


Blogs
Forums and Online Communities

Online Texts


Shops and Businesses

Traditions and Paths



Movies, Videos, and Television

Not only written media is valuable and helpful, but other mediums as well, including film. The following are movies, videos, television shows, and other types of films that contain truth, elements, or ideas relevant to Grimr, in alphabetical order.
  • 12 Monkeys (1995)
  • The 13th Floor (1999)
  • 13th Warrior (1999)
  • Alice (Miniseries 2009)
  • Alice in Wonderland (Disney Animated 1951)
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • Brave (Disney Animated 2012)
  • The Brothers Grimm (2005)
  • Caroline(Animated 2009)
  • Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
  • Dark Crystal (1982)
  • Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)
  • Kung Fu Panda (Animated 2008)
  • Labyrinth (1986)
  • Lady in the Water (2006)
  • Legend (1985)
  • The Order (2003)
  • Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
  • Sword in the Stone (Disney Animated 1963)
  • Tangled (Disney Animated 2010)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Book Review: The Heart of the Initiate: Feri Lessons, Second Edition,by Victor and Cora Anderson

"How the heart of the initiate thrills when the antique mysteries are written of. She or he recognizes the same great truth expressing itself in many forms, yet as one thing." ~Victor Anderson in a letter to a student, The Heart of the Initiate, Pg. 42

I have desired to read the Heart of the Initiate for a long time, ever since Karina made reference to a quote from it on a list I'm on in response to a question I asked. But it was very limited print, I think 300 copies, just for the Feri community of the time, and while I know several people with copies, they all live far from me and I've never had an opportunity to visit and read it. I was very please a few months ago to see an announcement from Harpy Press that they were publishing a second edition of the book. I immediately pre-ordered it and waited in expectation for it to arrive. I was not disappointed.

For those unfamiliar with Victor and Cora, they were amazing people, and co-founders along with Gwydion of what would become the Feri Tradition (by whatever spelling). The book is a gift from them to the Feri community. It is an amazing resource for seeker, student, and initiate alike, though it is very obviously aimed at students. It addresses many misconceptions and misunderstandings, and provides many insights I have not found elsewhere, whether from initiates in the tradition or books and writings produced by it. It is a blessing that a second edition has been published for a wider distribution.

The book is a collection of essays and letters mostly previously written, collected into one volume. It is not a large volume, only 78 pages, but it contains more lore and insight than most books four times its size. The forward by Jim Schuette states that tge book is a Valentine from Victor and Cora to you (the reader). It contains two sections.

These sections are prefaced by an essay by Victor entitled Some Pictish Views on the Old Religion. The essay discusses what is and what is not Craft, and specifically what is and isn't Feri.

The first section is made up of essays, commentaries on the tradition and elements of it, some written by Victor, some by Cora. There are no dates on any of them, so they may have been written specifically for the book. There are ten commentaries in this section.

The second section is a collection of letters to specific students, two from Cora and three from Victor. They touch on many different subjects.

The letters are followed by a prayer by Victor, first published in Witchcraft Digest Magazine in 1972 entitled Prayer for Beginning the New Path, prefaced by a short essay entitled A Prayer for the Craft Neophyte explaining the prayer and Victor's purpose in publishing it. This prayer serves as a fitting conclusion to the book.

FFF,
~Muninn's Kiss

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Book Review: The Star Crossed Serpent II: The Clan of Tubal Cain: The Legecy Continues: Shani Oates (1998-Present)

I have been reading The Star Crossed Serpent II by Shani Oates over the last month or so and just finished it. I wasn't sure whet to expect as far as form or content, as I haven't yet gotten or read Volume I. If it's anything like this one, I need to order a copy soon.

I received my copy of TSCSII on July 20th (2012) and opened it immediately, reading through the table of contents and reading the introduction and first essay during lunch that day. The book is a collection of ten essays, with an introduction by W Wagner and an epilogue by Robin the Dart. All ten essays relate to different subjects pertinant to the Clan of Tubal Cain, and relate Shani's understanding and view on the subjects. The essays are well written, and, while not forming a direct narrative or argument as a collection, inter relate and provide a very interesting and thought provoking tapestry of subjects and ideas. I started the book July 20th and finished it August 28th. Well worth the read, and not a book to read in one sitting. I recommend trying to read each essay in one sitting and allowing time to mill them over before moving to the next. There were things in the essays I swould stand up and shout amen to, and things I thought, well, I completely disagree with that, but, agree or disagree, relate to or not relate to, I was glad I read each essay and they gave me much to think about.

The introduction is entitled The Ring Troth of Cain and is a dialogue by W Wagner between Odhin and Thor concerning Cain, Thor cursing him and Odhin blessing him in response.

The ten essays follow it.

1) The first essay about the Archer's Song, I had already read in the Cauldron previously, so nothing new there. It was a pleasure to reread, however.

2) A lot of interesting tidbits in Brimstone and Treacle. The abject and advesarial distinctions, roles, and themes throughout essay were very thought provoking. The Sussux graveyard and church discussion with the North was very interesting, of what we call Potter's field, the north end, being the Devil's own, and of the Devil entering the church through the north door. The discussion of the Devil through time was bringing to mind Russell (he's a good friend of my Medeival History professor) and so was delighted to find a quote from him in the text. He's a favourite author of mine. The distinction between "witches" swearing allegiance to the Devil and cunningmen calling on the Trinity to force the Devil to serve, to do similar things was very interesting. And her closing paragraph leaves you thinking, how do I view things?

One thing in particular stood out:

"Valiente shares with us her local knowledge of eccentric customs, particularly of the speculatory aboriginal race of small dark forest dwellers frequently associated with Ashdown Forest and Romany activity until well into the 19th century and whose 'clanish' behaviour (in the sense of closed families) was treated with fear and suspicion." ~The Star Crossed Serpent II, pg. 30

Reading that and the following sentences and paragraphs, I could not help but think of Victor Anderson, (Grand Master of Feri for anyone unfamiliar with the name), and his "small dark people", who he described as the original practicers of the Feri (or Faery or Fairy) faith and Pictish Witchcraft (which Victor used to describe what he practiced and taught, which became Feri), and said he was directly descended from. He, himself, was quite small and dark complected. These "small dark people" are a foundational "myth" of Feri that has been criticised along with Murray's work. Yet we find it here in local folklore.

By far, I think this was my favourite essay, and I think the best in the book, though The Poisoned Chalice is the best written.

3) A lot of interesting material in Faith of the Wise, some new to me, some familiar. It shows an evolution of belief and practice in Cochrane that isn't evident in just the letters and articles, while pulling all of those in, giving them context. Very good and thought provoking essay.

4) The Stang was a very interesting essay investigating the Stanton and the World Tree, and trees and poles related to the feminine rather than phalic. I found how Shani related the God on the Tree with Shiva and his Shakti. Very interesting chapter, and the best after Treacle and Brimstone. The one part I did disagree with was Shani's assertion that Chokmah in the Tree of Life is feminine and Binah is masculine in relation to each other.

5) The Fourth Nail was an interesting essay. I expected it to relate to the ever heated nail in Romani legend, but it was a different idea entirely, though I can relate it to that legend. The chapter discusses the three faces of Hecate, and of Fate, and the fourth hidden face, the three nails of space and the fourth nail, time. Much more focused on science than the previous essays, the essay makes parallels between science, myth, and Clan of Tubal Cain lore. Cert interesting chapter indeed.

6) Dark Aegipan and Pale Leukothea investigates Pan as All, and as light and dark Twins, and the transition of Pan from All to a fool-like character in late folk lore. With my interest in Pan over the last year and my Feri background, it was a very enjoyable chapter to read, hitting on some points I've been looking at, and bringing my attention to others I hadn't previously seen. Very well written and very thought provoking. Definitely one of my favourites in the book.

7) Cain and Craft Diversity discusses the constellations known as Bootes (the Ploughman) and the Plough (Ursa Minor) which Shani relates as Cain, connecting the Cain legends to the progress of the constellation through the sky, and how it relates to Clan of Tubal Cain lore. another interesting essay.

8) Cain, Clanship and the Egregore digs much more deeply into the Clan of Tubal Cain, looking primarily at what clanship and suzerainty mean, both in history and in the Clan itself, and why the craft has been and is a threat to the established order based on sovereignty instead of suzerainty.

9) Patterns of Transformation: the Alchemy of Being is a discussion of alchemy in relation to spiritual progression. I honestly don't know what to say about this essay. It feels more like notes and brainstorming to me than an essay, though that could just be how it feels to me. I couldn't follow it the way I did the others. Interesting information and connections in it, though. The one place I questioned it was Shani's placement of earth, air, water, fire connected to the four worlds in Kabbalah, whereas my teaching and exerience has all four in the first world, and water (mem), then air (aleph), then fire (shin).

10) The Poison Chalice was a good ending essay for the book, I think. Not a summary or conclusion per se, but a good way to conclude a well crafted collection of essays. I'm not quite sure whet to say about the essay. While I like some of the other essays better because of content and where they took me, this was by far the best written and best crafted. It's a work of art honestly. It deals with the Graal, in progression to a chalise containing the sacrement, and on to a poisoned chalice, the cup that Fate presents. It discusses the mysteries both from the ascetic denial and the escatic indulgence side, showing the goal of both for the mystic, coming back around to the philosopher's stone of the alchemy chapter, and showing the poisoned chalice as the goal of all the proceeding essays. I think the beauty and power, the things that spoke the most to me, were in whet wasn't said, in where I was led beyond the words and beyond the pages.

The book ended with an epilogue by Robin the Dart discussing the witch 'Law' Cochrane outlined. This epilogue forms a context for the essays in the book, an afterthought that creates a framework to look back at the essays.

FFF,
~Muninn's Kiss