Saturday, June 24, 2006

Origin Of The Names Of The Days

Origin Of The Names Of The Days Cover

Book: Origin Of The Names Of The Days by Aengor

Digging into the history of the 7-day week is a very complicated matter. Authorities have very different opinions about the history of the week, and they Frequently present their speculations as if they were indisputable facts. The only thing we seem to know for certain about the origin of the 7-day week is that we know nothing for certain.

The common Explanation is that the seven-day week was established as imperial calendar in the late Roman empire and furthered by the Christian church for Historical reasons. The British Empire used the seven-day week and spread it worldwide. Today the seven-day week is enforced by global business and media schedules, especially television and banking.

The names of the days are in some cases derived from Teutonic deities or, such as in Romance languages, from Roman deities. The early Romans, around the first century, used Saturday as the first day of the week. As the worshipping of the Sun increased, the Sun's day (Sunday) advanced from position of the second day to the first day of the week (and saturday became the seventh day).

Download Aengor's eBook: Origin Of The Names Of The Days

Downloadable books (free):

Anonymous - The Prayers Of The Elementals
Friedrich Max Muller - The Sacred Books Of The East
Valentina Izmirlieva - All The Names Of The Lord
Aengor - Origin Of The Names Of The Days

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Yule Celebrations In Denmark

Yule Celebrations In Denmark Cover Yule or Yule-tide is a winter festival that was initially celebrated by the historical Germanic peoples as a pagan religious festival, though it was later absorbed into, and equated with, the Christian festival of Christmas. The festival was originally celebrated from late December to early January on a date determined by the lunar Germanic calendar. The festival was placed on December 25 when the Christian calendar (Julian calendar) was adopted. Some historians claim that the celebration is connected to the Wild Hunt or was influenced by Saturnalia, the Roman winter festival.

Terms with an etymological equivalent to “Yule” are still used in the Nordic Countries for the Christian Christmas, but also for other religious holidays of the season. In modern times this has gradually led to a more secular tradition under the same name as Christmas. Yule is also used to a lesser extent in English-speaking countries to refer to Christmas. Customs such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from Yule. In modern times, Yule is observed as a cultural festival and also with religious rites by some Christians and by some Neopagans.

Danes celebrate on December 24, which is called Juleaftensdag (literally, Yule Eve Day), or simply Jul. An elaborate dinner is eaten with the family in the evening, consisting of roast pork, roast duck or roast goose with potatoes, red cabbage and gravy. For dessert is rice pudding with a cherry sauce, traditionally with an almond hidden inside. The lucky finder of this almond is entitled to a small gift. After the meal is complete, the family gather around the Juletrea to sing Christmas carols and dance hand in hand around the tree. Then the children often hand out the presents which are opened immediately.

This is followed by candy, chips, various nuts, clementines, and sometimes a mulled and spiced wine with almonds and raisins called Glogg is served hot in small cups. Following the main celebration of Jul or Juleaften on December 24, December 25 and December 26 are, respectively, celebrated as Forste Juledag and Anden Juledag, both holidays, and are generally filled with relaxed familial socializing and the enjoying of leftovers from the Juleaften meal. Some Danish families also celebrate December 23 as Lillejuleaften (Little Christmas Eve). Traditions for this day might include decoration of the Juletr?, enjoying roast duck, and caroling.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Melita Denning - The Foundations Of High Magick
Arthur Edward Waite - The Templar Orders In Freemasonry
Tommie Eriksson - Tree Cults In Northern Magic

Monday, June 19, 2006

Northern Magic Rune Mysteries And Shamanism

Northern Magic Rune Mysteries And Shamanism Cover

Book: Northern Magic Rune Mysteries And Shamanism by Edred Thorsson

This in-depth primer of the magic of the Northern Way introduces the major concepts and
practices of Gothic or Germanic magic. From Pennsylvania Dutch hex-magic to Scandinavian
runes, Northern Magic explores the folk traditions, ancient lore, Germanic Mysteries, magic,
and wisdom of this ancient Germanic culture.

Another of Thorsson's masterpieces! I strongly recommend this book to all pagans who follow the Northern Way. I don't quite understand the bad reviews about Edred Thorsson being a satanist, he is quite far from it!

This is an excellent book for beginners of Asatru, due to the book wide variations of Norse paganism. This book covers many subjects and customs such as: The Troth, Runes, Hex-signs, Seith Magic, and much more. This book, however, is not in depth in these subjects, but a great Introduction to them. If you are looking for Information on Runes of the Elder Futhark, I wouldn't count on this book, however Thorsson introduces the Younger Futhark and covers them pretty well (one page on each rune, front and back!) I also recommend this book for the advanced, because it introduces new customs as well. Be sure to check out other books by Thorsson.

This is a really good reference for the very busy professional person who needs a clear presentation of ideas in a very short space. It would function as an excellent primer to Runelore and/or Futhark.

This book gives a really good quick overview of the Northern Way as it exists in its present remanifestation. In Chapter III, Dr. Thorsson explains the similarities and differences between the Troth, Rune-Galdor (operative rune magick), and Seith (norse shamanism) in a clear and concise manner.

Chapters IV and V explain Teutonic Cosmology and Theology in a quick, clear, and concise manner.

Dr. Thorsson does make a run at describing the Teutonic "soul" concept, but this is not as satisfying as the foregoing-described concise summaries.

Dr. Thorsson focuses on the younger runes and some home-grown Pennsylvania Dutch magick in this book, which might be interesting to some.

In my opinion, this book is most valuable for the quick summaries, and illustrations accompanying same, discussed above.

Since 1972, Edred Thorsson has been dedicated to the esoteric and esoteric study of the Indo-European, Celtic and Teutonic traditions. He studied Old Irish, Middle Welsh and Indo-European religion and culture at major universities in Germany and in the United States.

Buy Edred Thorsson's book: Northern Magic Rune Mysteries And Shamanism

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Reynold Nicholson - The Mystics Of Islam
Nathan Elkana - The Master Grimoire Of Magickal Rites And Ceremonies
Alfred Thompson - Magic And Mystery A Popular History
Tupman Tracy Ward - Theatre Magick Aleister Crowley And Rites Of Eleusis
Max Heindel - The Rosicrucian Mysteries

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Paganism Reader

The Paganism Reader Cover

Book: The Paganism Reader by Chas Clifton

Routledge Press has a strong reputation for putting out fine scholarship and helpful editions for students, scholars, and other interested readers, as this book on Paganism, edited by Chas S. Clifton and Graham Harvey, is no exception to that tradition. This is a reader; it is not a single narrative-strand history nor is it simply a collection of works under the guise of scholarship but really saddled with an agenda. There are three primary sections, largely based on historical division - Part One introduces classical texts from the ancient world, Part Two looks at what are called `proto-revival' texts, and Part Three looks at the revival and diversification of paganism over the past century or so.

The Classical Texts draw on literature from many different cultures (British Isles, Nordic/Icelandic culture, and ancient Egypt as well as the more well-known Israel, Greece, and Rome). There was no one systematic religious framework called `paganism', as these texts indicate, but rather Paganism is a term used to cover a wide range of religious and spiritual ideas. These texts include a diversity of literary forms - autobiography, poems, narrative stories, histories, and even an epistle/letter.

The Paganism Reader is a well put together volume that provides us with material that offers inspiration, gentle teachings and insights into the very nature of our spirituality.

Mr. Clifton and Mr. Harvey have put together various works, classified by the time of their writings (classical, proto-revival, revival and diversification) that touch the heart of what it is to be pagan. The material is fresh for the most part, well chosen for content and it's appeal to the pagan reader in a variety of applications. The material can be read as individual pieces, or taken as a whole. It can be used for private meditation or as a group exercise for study.

The classical is represented by various excerpts; from the 'Book of Jeremiah' to 'Pliny the Elder' and material from the 'Irish Cycles' to Geoffrey of Monmouth. The material covers a wide range of myths and mysticism.

The proto-revival material is characterized by excerpts from "Aradia', Aleister Crowley's 'The Book of the Law', Margaret Murray on 'Witchcraft' and Rudyard Kipling's 'A Tree Song', to name a few.

Revival and diversification contains material selected from the writings of Doreen Valiente, Gerald Gardner, Robert Heinlein, Marion Bradley, Mr. Clifton and others. There is also a 'Further Reading' list that is quite in depth and a well thought out Index.

The material presented is as diverse as the many paths of paganism. The book offers to the general pagan some wonderful material that will provoke discussion as well as contemplation.
A must have book on your library shelf, it should be included in your 'must read' lists and is a very useful tool for any teacher, as well as a book I would consider a primer for anyone looking at the pagan path.

The proto-revival texts include texts that reawaken to a celebration of the natural world and the spirituality inherent in it during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Again, the motivations are diverse (Romantic views of nature, a disillusionment with progress and urbanism, etc.) as well as the types of literature - included here pieces from Rudyard Kipling, Robert Graves, Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Grahame, among others. There is also the entry written by Margaret Murray for the 1929 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica on witchcraft, a rather sympathetic account of the history of witchcraft, making it something very different than it is popularly envisioned.

The third part explores twentieth century scholarship as well as works written by and for Pagans. Some of the tensions that exist in the diversity that is Paganism have to do with the emphasis on nature versus the emphasis on the self and personal reflection/discovery. Another tension has to do with hierarchy - are there those with power and position or not? Among the many titles given to Pagans today are Witches, Druids, Shamans, Eco-activists, Goddess worshippers, and several others. Magic sometimes plays a role, but not always. Paganism is far from the kind of devil worship sometimes portrayed by church hiearchs.

In the introduction, Clifton and Harvey clearly state that it is not the intention of this collection to steer the reader in any particular direction regarding this texts; to that end, the introduction is but a few pages long, and the list of further readings is quite generous at the end of the book. Clifton does contribute a few articles in Part Three, on nature religion and Western shamanism.

Suggested ebooks:

Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Green Meadow
Harold Macgrath - The Pagan Madonna
Arlo Bates - The Pagans