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Book Review – The Vision of the Pylons by J. Daniel Gunther

April, 2019

Book Review
The Visions of the Pylons
A Magical Record of Exploration in the Starry Abode
By: J. Daniel Gunther
Ibis Press

The author, Mr. Gunther follows Aleister Crowley’s method of enlightenment as put forth by Mr. Crowley in his publication: “The Equinox.” Mr. Gunther used the method labeled “Scientific Illuminism” to explore the Egyptian funerary text called “The Book of Pylons” (or Gates). It is the nocturnal journey of the deceased on the Solar Bark in the Starry Abode. What Mr. Gunther has written is a book that is a record of the meditations the author went through and his exploration of the Starry Abode. These meditations happened between 1975 in 1977.

The subject matter is interesting to read. (I think this is another rabbit hole I am getting ready to jump into.) While the subject matter is interesting the meditations are a little difficult to read.

Mr. Gunther seems to be a fan of footnotes; there are footnotes on almost every page. Sometimes the footnotes take up half the page. A lot of the footnotes contain Hebrew lettering, zodiac Glyph, and notes on Sephiroth. (I admit I am not familiar with Hebrew lettering or anything on the Sephiroth. So, I would read the book, and then look stuff up online.)

I
did find this to be an exciting book to read. I found myself reading
the passage, then going to the footnote, and then rereading the
passage in several places of this book, after looking stuff up.

I am not well versed in the Kabbalah, so this book piqued my interest in learning more about that matter. And at the same time, his book confused me with the combination of Biblical references, Egyptian references, and Jewish references. I can see how they all work together. Sometimes the way the footnotes read it made my head spin for a second or two.

There
are six different appendices in this book. The first is the name of
the Pylons; these are color pages that have a different path of the
Pylons. The second is the Sigils of the Guardians of the Pylons.
The Sigil of the Guardians can be a bit confusing, because it is a
grid of the phonetic sounds for the letters of the ancient Egyptian
alphabet, and there are 13 of those. There is a section on engraving
images into a wax disc. The last two appendices are a full ritual
complete with a recipe for saffron cakes, honey, and milk. The
appendix on the Signs of Invoking and Banishing is extensive and has
more than 30 signs.

The
researcher and student in me found this book fascinating. The student
in me also realized this is something else I need to explore more
deeply..

The Visions of the Pylons: A Magical Record of Exploration in the Starry Abode on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Dawn
Borries
 loves
reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org.
Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past
25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook
page. If you are interested in a reading you can reach her on
Facebook @eagleandunicorn.

Book Review: The Book of Ceremony – Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life by Sandra Ingerman

November, 2018

Book Review:

The Book of Ceremony

Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life

by Sandra Ingerman

Although I do not follow a Shamanic path, I have long been a fan of Sandra Ingerman’s work and fold much of her teachings into the practice and teachings I offer to my coven mates and students. I particularly enjoyed this book as a reader friendly and generic template for incorporating ceremony into any practice.

The Book of Ceremony by Sandra Ingerman reminds us that our focus is often distracted as we attempt to recreate or analyze ancient teachings and wisdom and that the most important piece in ceremony is our intention and desire to affect change. The approach to ceremony that Sandra uses guides the reader towards healthy expressions of emotions that could otherwise become more negative energy feeding situations in which we feel helpless.

The book is divided into four parts beginning with the basics of what is considered a “ceremony”; moving to specific types of ceremony; work to create balance within ourselves and the energy that moves through us and concluding with practical application of ceremony and creating your own definition of what these actions enable within your practice.

One of the key points brought to light early in the book is the difference between the terms of “Ritual” and “Ceremony”. The author uses her perspective of ritual being more repetitive in nature, whereas a ceremony is designed for specific outcome and at a specific time. I don’t fully agree with this definition as I believe that the two overlap in a myriad of ways, however, I believe this to be a good starting point for those exploring the use of “sacred action” filled with intention and hoping to create something new from what is acted upon.

The sections throughout the book, cover all of the information anyone would need to begin crafting ceremony and weaving it into their specific practice. Altars, tools, music, preparation of yourself, seeking Spirit guides, ancestors and more are presented in a useable way and offer both background and reasoning behind the selection offered.

I especially liked reading the section, “Turning Points and Rites of Passage”. It is richly illustrated with actual ceremonies that have been created and executed that were powerful examples of what can be accomplished in sharing the gifts of ceremony as a working tool.

All in all, this is an excellent book to begin the process of aligning yourself more deeply with your inner wisdom and intention-filled practice in honoring the sacred in the work you undertake. To quote Sandra…

In shamanic teachings, every spiritual and sacred act we perform is a ceremony. When we recognize the sacredness of each moment, miracles happen.”

The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.