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    Book Review: The Witches’ Ointment – The Secret History of Psychedelic Magic by Thomas Hatsis

    The Witches’ Ointment The Secret History of Psychedelic Magic By Thomas Hatsis This is a fascinating and unique offering! And a book I will definitely recommend to others, especially colleagues and students. It is well-researched and written in a scholarly yet very accessible way. In this book the author Thomas Hatsis embarks on a quest to research and tell the (until now largely) untold story of a magical substance called “witches’ ointment.” In this book you will also encounter other names for this mysterious concoction. Along the way he provides a detailed, thought-provoking account of witchcraft, magic and the use of hallucinogenic herbs. This book is underpinned with many footnotes…

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    Book Review – Talking to the Spirits: Personal Gnosis in Pagan Religion by Kenaz Filan & Raven Kaldera 

    Talking to the Spirits: Personal Gnosis in Pagan Religion  by Kenaz Filan &, Raven Kaldera  This book by Filan and Kaldera explores the value of (so called) UPG and PCPG in Neo-Pagan traditions and in reconstructionist work done to recover ancestral faiths and religions. When I first came across the abbreviation UPG years ago, I assumed it meant “Unique Personal Gnosis”. That was optimistic! In reality it is an abbreviation for “Unverified Personal Gnosis” – in plain English: information you receive from the spirits that has not been backed up (at this time) by lore or the findings of other people. In contrast PCPG means: Peer Corroborated Personal Gnosis and this refers to…

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    Rage and Spiritual People

        We have the privilege of being alive in a time of paradigm shift. The world my own parents knew and took for granted has tilted on its axis in the four decades since I was a child. In many ways this is a wonderful thing: courtesy of the internet and social media we now all have access to a vast reservoir of information and inspiration. My own children laugh when I explain to them that in my childhood I needed to cycle to the local library if I needed information about any subject. For them it is all just one finger click away. They cannot comprehend a time…

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    Sacred Art

        TRIBUTE TO THE MIMI SPIRITS   MiMi figures are small stick-like spirits. They are said to live in bush and rock crevices in Arnhem Land in the very North of Australia. They are regarded as great artists because they like painting their portraits in red ochre on rocks! Mimi spirits are not Creator Beings, but they taught the Ancestors of the present-day Gunwinggu tribe the art of painting. Mimi spirits can be enchanting creatures, but one must realise they can be malevolent as well as benevolent. As a painter I wished to create a tribute to the Mimi spirits for giving human beings the art of painting! *** About the author:…

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    Book Review: Modern Machiavelli 13 Laws of Power, Persuasion and Integrity By Troy Bruner & Philip Eager

    MODERN MACHIAVELLI 13 Laws of Power, Persuasion and Integrity By Troy Bruner and Philip Eager I will start off by admitting that when I was asked to read and review this book I very nearly said no, because it had “Machiavelli” in the title. At a second glance I noticed that it also has the word “integrity” in the title. That got my attention: how on earth do these things sit together? My curiosity made me say: sure, send me the book…. It arrived. From the first page I was gripped! Now I actually wish I had read this book a few decades ago. There are so many scenarios in…

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    The Mother Book

    A very wise friend recommended that I start a Mother Book: a safe space to vent all my thoughts about mothers. Even, especially the not so pretty, not so generous thoughts now have their safe place, their private page in this journal. This is a relief. I am the writer of this book as well as the only reader of this book.   My book starts with the following words: “I have a mother and I am a mother” My own mother’s favourite quote about motherhood is: “God couldn’t be everywhere – that is why He made mothers!”   We live in a polarised world of putting mothers on a…

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    Book Review: Baldr’s Magic – The Power of Norse Shamanism and Ecstatic Trance by Nicholas Brink

    Baldr’s Magic – The Power of Norse Shamanism and Ecstatic Trance By Nicholas Brink       I agreed to review this book because Baldr (or Balder/Baldur) is a Norse god I have a strong personal connection to.   On the positive side I will say that anyone seeking a strong connection to their ancestors and ancestral faith and traditions needs encouragement – in whatever way they decide to do this. The author certainly describes a very personal quest and invites others to make a similar journey into the past (even the ancient undocumented past of Early Europe).   He works for the Cuyamunge Institute which promotes the original research…

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    Imelda Almqvist About Painting

    Imelda Almqvist About Painting People often ask me about painting. I teach courses in making art internationally and do a fair amount of public speaking, as well, so I am often asked questions about my own process and my relationship to my own paintings. Over the years, as paintings have gone off to exhibitions and galleries and I have hosted many Open Studio Days, I have written my artist’s statement on many occasions, as artists are supposed to do. I observe constant shifts in my own consciousness bringing fresh insights. I doubt this journey will ever end! (it will probably continue beyond my departure from the earthly realm!) This means that I am always engaged in re-writing and trying to…

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    Book Review: DISCover the Power of You-How to Cultivate Change for Positive and Productive Cultures by Robert Adams

    Book Review:  DISCover the Power of You – How to Cultivate Change for Positive and Productive Cultures by Robert Adams According to the blurb on the back this book is for individuals who have a desire to better understand their own personality, people who may aspire to be come leaders in whatever field of their choice. Full disclosure: I was asked to review this book by the publisher (Business Books, John Hunt Publishing ). In truth it is not a book I would have gravitated to all by myself. Having said that, there can be great benefits in being pushed a bit out of your “natural reading habitat”! I found this…

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    Sacred Art

    The Great Cosmic Womb of Egyptian Goddess Nut In Ancient Egypt, Nut was the Sky Goddess and daughter of Shu and Tefnut. She was seen as a personification of The Milky Way. She was both the ultimate Mother Goddess and the Soul Conductor or Psychopomp who reabsorbed the souls of dead people back within herself. The ancient  Egyptians believed that our star constellation Cygnus (or The Swan) marked the location of The Cosmic Womb in The Milk Way, the womb of Nut.  The sun god Ra entered her mouth after the Sun set in the evening and was reborn from her vulva the next morning. She also swallowed and re-birthed stars. The pharaoh entered…