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Friday, November 17, 2017

Chariots of the Gods - Erich von Daniken

Back in the 70s, von Daniken released a book that would change the world and open people up to new possibilities in history. It became an immediate best seller and was translated into several languages. Who built the pyramids? Who made fascinatingly accurate maps of the world? And also, how were they able to do it?

According to von Daniken it may have been alien visitors. That's right! He claims that within archaeology are hidden proofs if we are willing to open our minds and look beyond what we've been taught.

Chariots of the Gods spawned a new genre of speculation and imagination. History Channel's popular Ancient Aliens television series is based on his works and contains many interview pieces with the author.

With the advances in technology and a better understanding of archaeology, many of von Daniken's theories have been disproven. Many more will certainly fall out of favor as we learn more. Even so, it's fun to read the theories of such a creative mind.

More by the Author:
Return to the Stars
Gold of the Gods
In Search of Ancient Gods

Similar Books:
Forbidden Archaeology - Michael Cremo
Technology of the Gods - David Hatcher Childress
Fingerprints of the Gods - Graham Hancock

Related Television Series:
Ancient Aliens - Season 1
Ancient Aliens - Season 2
Ancient Aliens - Season 3

Friday, November 10, 2017

Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

Long ago Midgard, earth, was populated by fantastic peoples and creatures. Gods, giants, elves, and humans all lived together in this realm. Thor's hot temper is exemplified in the retellings of Loki taking Sif's hair and his massive appetite during the feast at his unexpected wedding. Loki's mischief shines as he lies, cheats, and steals through the stories. Tyr's bravery and sacrifice in the capture of Fenrir shines. And at the end, the tale of Baldr's death and Ragnorak's final coming is just as terrifying in this version as it is in the original work.

Gaiman's dry wit adds a perfect amount of humor to these stories and his nonchalant storytelling voice in the audiobook version has fantastic flow. Those already familiar with these stories will be satisfied with his accuracy in adapting these stories while adding his own voice. Those who may be new to Norse mythos may find certain parts uncomfortable, particularly some of the stories involving Loki.

Source Material:
Poetic/Elder Edda
Prose Edda
Prose Edda (modern translation) - Jesse Byock

Friday, November 3, 2017

The 48 Laws of Power - Robert Greene

After learning to use the forty-eight laws of power, Greene suggests a person will lead a successful life. These laws apply in a variety of situations including business deal, social interactions, and personal relations.

Each Law titled and numbered. It's followed by a Judgment, a brief explanation of what the Law means. The section titled Transgression of the Law gives a historical account or mythological occurrence of violating the law and is followed by an Interpretation to further explain how or why the violation caused bad results. Observance of the Law gives a positive use of the law in the same format and is also followed by an Interpretation to further the reader's understanding. Keys to Power is written in the second person, telling the reader directly how to use the law and what to be wary of. Reversal presents situations in which the reader may want to use the opposite side of the law.

Concealing Your Intention, Makeing Other People Come To You, and Never Appearing Too Perfect are certainly not new ideas. Many of these Laws are found in other texts, such as the Art of War or The Prince, but the concrete examples and explanations of those situations makes the material much easier to grasp and understand.

Like many books of this manner, it is best taken in sections to absorb the lessons and feel confident in applying them to situations. Anybody who wants to learn self-mastery, how to relate to the world, and how to turn the world around them to their favor will benefit from reading this work.

More by the Author:
Mastery
The 33 Strategies of War
The Art of Seduction

Recommended Reads:
The Art of War - Sun Tzu
The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli
The Book of Five Rings - Miyamoto Musashi

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Book of Women's Altars - Nancy Cunningham

With valuable knowledge and emotional insight, Nancy Cunningham invites women to learn about altars and how to use them. Throughout the book lovely black and white photos illustrate the many items and types of altars one can make, including themed, personal, seasonal, intentional, ancestor, and special event altars. She also includes examples of ceremonies or rituals the reader can use to enhance the feeling of the space. The last section is a blank scrapbook section where you can sketch or paste photos of your own altars.

Whether you are new to the idea and want to learn or you are looking for inspiration to create new altars this book will fit your needs.

More by the Author:
I Am Woman by Rite: A Book of Women's Rituals
Snow Melting in a Silver Bowl: A Book of Active Meditations
Feeding the Spirit

Recommended Reads:
Altars: Bringing Sacred Shrines into Your Everyday Life - Denise Lynn
Sacred Bedroom - John Roberston
SoulSpace - Xorin Balbes

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Quest of Heroes - Morgan Rice

Thorgrin has always been the least loved of the four boys. Perhaps it is because his birth meant the passing of his mother. Or maybe his father is just unhappy with his attitude. Either way he's left to watch the sheep, while his brothers are doted upon. On the day the army comes to recruit his father insists he watch the sheep, refusing to send a servant to take the charge, even though Thor is old enough and qualified to attend the assessment.

This one time Thor decides to disobey his father. The only reasons he succeeds in joining the army is his stubborn persistence and disobedience even in the face of his superiors. So starts his journey as a squire, who faces the wrath of his fellow recruits who are jealous of the attention his forthright attitude has gotten him.

Thor soon finds the charmed circumstances that brought him to his lofty circumstances are only the beginning of the magic around him

Thor is a simple-minded character with his heart set on heroics, whose story is driven by chance and circumstance. The way the story moves reminds me of Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall trilogy, which was one of my favorite series in Junior High. This first book in The Sorcerer's Ring series isn't special, but it has potential to become much bigger. I'll be moving on to the next in the series with an expectation of a fun and simple read.

Books in the Series:
A March of Kings
A Fate of Dragons
A Cry of Honor

Similar Reads
Harper Hall Trilogy - Anne McCaffrey

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Sorcerer's Screed - Jochum magnus Eggertsson

Originally published in Icelandic in 1940, this collection of magic spells was first made available in English in 2015.

This collection contains some of the most popular spells, like gaining prosperity, winning the love of your life, and protection from evil. But there are also more unusual and gruesome spells for catching a liar and raising the dead.

Each page contains a single spell starting with the illustrated stave using
runes and symbols at the top in red, followed by the spell and operation written in Runes and then below that in English, both in black.

If you are a reader who is simply curious to learn about different forms of magic, you're appetite will surely be satiated. If you are reader hoping to cast some of these spells you will find the directions easy to follow, though drawing the staves and performing the operations may be a bit tricky in some cases

From the Publisher:
Icelandic Magic for Modern Living

Related Reading:
The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Warrior Goddess Way - HeatherAsh Amara

Amara continues to show readers how to become more true to themselves in her newest addition to the Warrior Goddess series.

Part I imparts Wisdom concerning four different topics. The first is the gift Of Presence and being truly in oneself during even difficult situations. Of Stories seeks to remind the reader that the event itself may not be as important is how the story we tell ourselves of that event is. The importance Of Forgiveness to the victim or survivor is emphasized in the third chapter. Of Apology expresses the importance of extending an apology not just to the wronged but also to the wrong-doer, who can often be ourselves.

Part II speaks of the gift of Authenticity to ourselves and those around us. The importance of Respecting ourselves, being able to sit with ourselves in Stillness, and how these two things can bring us more Awareness
of who we are and what we should do to be true to ourselves.

Part III is all about saying Yes! to yourself by Cleaning and Maintaining the Home of You by knowing when to continue healthy Relationships with people, events, or organizations, and Opening to the Endings of things when the time comes.

Although this book is meant to build on the previous books in the series, it isn't necessary to read them before diving into this book. It stands well on its own. Any reference to previous books is explained so the reader won't need to pull out the book oneself.

Having read her previous book in the series, Warrior Goddess Training, I often felt myself recalling items I had read there. There wasn't anything new in this book, but it serves as an excellent extension for the reader to dive a bit deeper into the self and continue to maintain a healthy relationship with oneself and the world around. A worthwhile read for those both new and returning readers.

Books in the Series:
Warrior Goddess Training
Warrior Goddess Training Companion Book
Warrior Goddess Meditations

Recommended Reads:
The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron
Archetypes - Caroline Myss