Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Five Weeks in a Balloon - Jules Verne

Five Weeks in a Balloon
by Jules Verne

I've always enjoyed the Jules Verne favorites (Round the World in 80 days, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and 20,000 Leagues under the Sea), but it's harder to find JV's other works, despite the fact that he's written over 50 books, so I snatched this one up when I saw it.

It's the story of 3 men crossing Africa (then not fully explored at the time) in a balloon (a novel method at the time). So it's basically fiction since no man had crossed that part of Africa and no one had succeed in taking a long trip in a balloon. As a result you have to take his geography and even his science in stride. It has been worked out by others that his balloon could never have made the trip and we now know that his description of that part of Africa was fanciful. So it's fiction, nevertheless it's good fiction. And we have to remember that this book was written over 100 years ago! So when I read this book, it is also an exercise in time travel for me, to read this book as it was written, in 1869, otherwise you will be offended at all the non-politically correct events that happen and the descriptions of the natives and the mind set at that time.

It's interesting to note that this book was supposed to be a forerunner to the much beloved Round the World in 80 days and I can imagine Mr. Verne testing out his ideas in this book. Jules Verne was the father of the explorer/adventure type novel and today's authors owe a lot to him. So sit back and travel back 100+ years and try this book!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Three Books of Occult Philosophy, or of Magick

Three Books of Occult Philosophy, 
or of Magick; 
Written by that Famous Man  
Henry Cornelius Agrippa, Knight,  

Now you can learn from the original, most important source for magic in the Western world that has ever been published, when you get Agrippa'sThree Books of Occult Philosophy.
This massive volume was originally published in 1531, and occultists have been drawing on it ever since. Now, Llewellyn is proud to produce the first complete reprint of the original English translation in the last 500 years. Donald Tyson edited this work and removed the hundreds of errors that appeared in the original translation. He also fully annotated the work, to make it understandable—and usable—by people today.

·Discover what the Renaissance scholar knew about astrology, medicine, history, herbs, geography, animals, angels, devils, Witches, charms, the weather, and a host of other subjects
·Gain immediate reference to a vast amount of arcane, but completely annotated, magical material
·Find corrected drawings of seals, sigils, and magic squares, and correctly represented geomantic figures
·Explore the practical Kabbalah, geomancy, the magic squares, the elements, the humors, and the Soul of the World
·Consult the new Biographical dictionary for background on each of the hundreds of writers and historical figures referred to by Agrippa
·Consult the new Geographical Dictionary for data on referenced rivers, mountains, nations, cities—many of which now carry different names.

The Three Books of Occult Philosophy is the most complete repository of pagan and Neoplatonic magic ever compiled. This book is packed with material you will not find elsewhere, including copious extracts on magic from obscure or lost works by Pythagoras, Ptolemy, Plato, Aristotle, and many others. Tyson's detailed annotations clarify difficult references and provide origins of quotations, even expanding upon them in many cases, in order to make Agrippa's work more accessible to the modern reader.

The Three Books of Occult Philosophy is the ultimate "how-to" for magical workings. It describes how to work all manner of divinations and natural and ceremonial magic in such clear and useful detail that it is still the guide for modern techniques. The extensive new supplementary material makes this wisdom practical for use today.

The Three Books of Occult Philosophy is an essential reference tool for all students of the occult


The Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, by Henry Cornelius Agrippa and unnamed others, is considered one of the cornerstones of Western magic, and the grimoires it contains are among the most important that exist in the Western tradition. For more than three hundred years, this mysterious tome has been regarded as difficult or even impossible to understand—until now.
Occult scholar Donald Tyson presents a fully annotated, corrected, and modernized edition of Stephen Skinner’s 1978 facsimile edition of the original work, which was six tracts published as one volume in 1655. For the first time, these classic works of Western magic have been rendered fully accessible to the novice practitioner, as well as occult scholars and skilled magicians. Tyson presents clear instruction and practical insight on a variety of magic techniques, providing contemporary magicians with a working grimoire of the arcane.
- Astrology 
- History 
- Geomancy 
- Ceremonial Magic
- The Nature of Spirits, Angels, and Demons
- Geomantic Astronomy
- Necromancy
- Invocation and Evocation of Spirits

Read Book 1

Read Book 2

Read Book 3

Read Book 4

Sunday, March 20, 2011



Geraldine Pinch

Magic in Ancient Egypt" makes a welcome reappearance in this revised and updated edition. The Egyptians were famous in the ancient world for their knowledge of magic. Religion, medicine, technology and what we would call magic co-existed without apparent conflict, and it was not unusual for magical and 'practical' remedies for illness, for example, to be used side by side. Magic was resorted to by everyone, from the pharaoh guarding his country with elaborate magical rituals to the expectant mother wearing amulets to safeguard her unborn child. The book examines the fascinating connections between myth and magic, and the deities such as Bes and Isis who had special magical importance. It discusses the techniques of magic, its practitioners and the surviving magical texts, as well as the objects which were used in magic: figurines, statues, amulets and wands. A chapter is devoted to medicine and magic, and one to magic and the dead. Finally, it shows how elements and influences from Egyptian magic survived in or were taken up by later societies, right up to the 21st century. 

Cause, Principle and Unity: And Essays on Magic - Giordano Bruno

Cause, Principle and Unity:
And Essays on Magic 
Giordano Bruno

Giordano Bruno's notorious public death in 1600, at the hands of the Inquisition in Rome, marked the transition from Renaissance philosophy to the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. In his philosophical works he addressed such delicate issues as the role of Christ as mediator and the distinction, in human beings, between soul and matter. This volume presents new translations of Cause, Principle and Unity, in which he challenges Aristotelian accounts of causality and spells out the implications of Copernicanism for a new theory of an infinite universe, and of two essays on magic, On Magic and A General Account of Bonding, in which he interprets earlier theories about magical events in the light of the unusual powers of natural phenomena

The Tao of Physics - Fritjof Capra

The Tao of Physics Fritjof Capra

The Tao of Physics
Fritjof Capra

Quote from book - "I also hope to find among my readers many physicists with an interest in the philosophical aspects of physics, who have not come in contact with the religious philosophies of the East. They will find that Eastern Mysticism provides a consistent and beautiful philosophical framework which can accommodate our most advanced theories of the physical world"

Originally published in 1975 this book was the first of its kind, and its findings still apply some thirty years later.

Fritjof explores eastern mysticism in the from of Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese thought, Taoism and Zen, with devoting many pages to introduce them and provides the reader with a good insight into these religions.

Fritjof does not inject much humour into his work, but does have quite an interesting take on discoveries in that discoveries, most often come to people in an almost daydreaming state, as did this book come into being. His writing is clear and at times concise, at others, elaboration on the subject is very well included and there is little in this book to get bored with.

What Fritjof does is take excerpts from the different schools of thought and shows how this correlates with scientific findings of the 20th century; he does this with ease and grace. The main thing to be taken away from this book is the idea that some of those things were written 1000's of years ago, and science has been playing `catch up' with the mystics. Definitely worth reading if you like science or not, but more so if you like science.