Books Reviews



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Author: Yogananda, Paramahansa
Title: Autobiography of a Yogi
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Self-Realization Fellowship (@)
Rated: *****

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Recognized as one of the greatest emissaries to the West of India's ancient wisdom, Paramahansa Yogananda was commissioned by his master Swami Sri Yukteswar to bring these teachings from India to America. Yogananda emphasized the underlying unity of the world's great religions, and taught universally applicable methods for attaining direct personal experience of God with an emphasis on Kriya Yoga. This book outlines the life story of this great teacher and how he came to be known to the West. There is much in this book that is useful to the student of esoteric wisdom and spirituality and I highly suggest anyone reading this book who plans on becoming a serious student pay close attention to the words and teachings from the wisdom of Swami Sri Yukteswar. Though Yogananda has moved from this physical plane to the next in 1952 his loving-kindness and teachings of God-Illumination continue to this day through the school he founded known as Self-Realization Fellowship headquartered in Los Angeles, California. This book is highly recommended for any student of spirituality!
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Author: Margaret Starbird
Title: The Woman With the Alabaster Jar
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Bear & Co.
Rated: *****

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Interestingly enough the author set out initially to disprove the theory that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. What she found was a very long trail of clues which lead her to conclude many details of a medieval "heresy" based on the ancient Sacred Marriage Rites. From the anointing of Jesus with oil through the middle ages she traces the Sangraal Legend and it's relation to the Black Goddess/Madonna also known as the Hebrew Matronit/Shekinah and further correlations with Isis and Inanna. What I found most intriguing, like many other synchronicities on my personal path, is that this book ties in many aspects of personal research for me that I had been holding as several loose ends which I knew were somehow connected but was uncertain of. She very smoothly completed this picture for me as I had not looked at this possibility at all. However, while she gives great reasons and several likely "proofs" throughout history's art and literature to support the theory they initially intended to discredit, she also states most accurately that whether this be true or not is not what is important but what it represents. This important representation is the lack of the Divine Feminine in modern Christianity with it's wild patriarchal rule and how it must eventually be balanced with a healthy respect for the feminine. THIS is what got me started on my personal path in the first place and this book is a great starting and return point for anyone seeking more than what they have found in modern "religion".
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Author: Laurence Gardner
Title: Genesis of the Grail Kings
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Fair Winds Press
Rated: *****

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"Laurence Gardner is an internationally renowned sovereign genealogist and historical lecturer, Chancellor of the Imperial Dragon Sovereignty, Prior of the Sacred Kindred of Columba, Preceptor of the Knights Templar of St. Anthony, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He lives in the United Kingdom."While this was a most interesting read and one that will be of high interest to anyone curious about the Dragon bloodline or the Graal Legends there are too many aspects in which Garnder seems to fall short on proof. The first half of the book is excellent and practically coincides with all the personal research I myself have done regarding these topics and the many sources I have found my answers in. However, the wisdom from the more metaphysical and mystical schools of thought seem to not be fully accurately portrayed here. However, much is always left to interpretation on such things. Personally I found all the information very interesting and inticing, especially the possibility that Ahkenaten may be the biblical Moses. I've questioned this myself. However, his theories on Alchemical Gold being monotamic and the "bloodline" rituals of Starfire seem to be concocted or at least incomplete. The second half of the book seemed to be, in my personal opinion, likely a bit contrived toward his personal goals for organizations he belongs to and the research seemed to be less solid. However, then again that aspect gets into less trod territory and thus there is less information for comparison. I will however say that his views on the Dragon bloodline seem to be in direct opposition to Ike's as he does not portray the Dragons as the "evil conspirators" but the side of the "right". I do think that the books holds some very interesting contents for anyone interested in any of the associated topics as all perspectives should be reviewed. Personally I think the emphasis on the actual bloodline less important than what it represents to mankind as a whole. However, I continue to be intrigued by Gardner's works and will be apt to purchase and devour more books by him in the future.
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Author: E.A. Wallis Budge
Title: The Book of the Dead
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Gramercy Books
Rated: *****

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Listed as: "Fascinating compendium of ancient Egyptian mythology, religious beliefs and magical practices. Includes spells, incantations, hymns, magical formulas and prayers. All explained by one of the most knowledgeable and respected Egyptologists of the early 20th century. B&W illustrations, photographs and hieroglyphics throughout. 704 pages.""E.A. Wallis Budge was the Curator of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities at the British Museum from 1894 to 1924. Along with his post at the British Museum, he was a Sometime Scholar of Christ’s College, a scholar at the University of Cambridge, Tyrwhitt, and a Hebrew Scholar. Best known for his numerous translatory works, Budge collected a large number of Coptic, Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Ethiopian, and Egyptian Papyri manuscripts. He was also involved in numerous archaeology digs in Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Sudan. Budge is perhaps best known for translating The Egyptian Book of The Dead (also known as The Papyrus of Ani), as well as analyzing many of the practices of Egyptian religion, language and ritual. Of his written works, Budge made the first books oriented toward students of hieroglyphics. They consisted of translated texts and hieroglyphs, as well as a complete dictionary of hieroglyphs. In addition, his published works cover areas of Egyptian culture reaching from Egyptian religion, to Egyptian mythology, and magical practices. Budge was knighted in 1920. He died November 23, 1934 in London, England." ~ While some scholars suggest Budge's translations are flawed it seems to me that it is only because he entertained more esoteric perspectives in some of his other writings though he is highly acclaimed in more metaphysical circles. However, not being learned in translating Egyptian myself I cannot say and I have not yet read any other translations of this text. However, that being said I found the book overall very interesting and have discovered many points of historic and esoteric reference which seem relevant. Personally I think one can only comprehend even a portion of the meaning behind the text if you have researched some of the esoteric doctrines, otherwise it's just a bunch of meaningless jibberish and repetitive lines with unusual name references and unusual practices. However, even with some previous research leading me here I do find the constant trading of gods and powers to be slightly disconcerting. What is most disconcerting to me is that there are segments where the author sites how interesting another segment of text is from another document that is basically of similar writing but where the segment in question differs and he prints the heiroglyphic version without translation. Thus, anyone who is not learning in translating heiroglyphs remains in the 'dark' about what he's trying to clue us into. Personally I find the Egyptian texts all very long and drawn out and repetitive yet intrigueing at the same time. This is definitely not for anyone who does not take specific interest in Egytology for either historic or esoteric reasons. It would bore you stiff. However, for those who do find that interesting, or who have found their paths leading them here you will likely find many useful references buried within these pages that will at the very least work as confirmation of prior experiences or comprehension or may even be enlightening on varying levels. My favorite part is The Chamber of Torture which speaks much of The Watchers. Anyone curious about The Watchers of Enoch or UFO theories will find this interesting: "Deliver thou...from the Watchers, who carry murderous knives, who possess cruel fingers, and who would slay those who are in the following of Osiris...May their knives never gain mastery over me. May I never fall under the knives wherewith they inflict cruel tortures...The sinner who walketh over this place falleth down among the knives [of the Watchers]...Deliver thou...from the Watchers who pass sentences of doom, who have been appointed by the god Nebertcher to protect him, and to fasten the fetters on his foes and who slaughter in the torture chambers; there is no escape from their fingers. May they never stab me with their knives, may I never fall helpless into their chambers of torture." I'll let you ponder that one on your own. However, when it comes to the ancient spirituality of the Egyptians one must remember they were not polytheistic sun worshippers afterall but pantheistic monists who had esoteric doctrines about natural things like the sun.
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Author: Myke Hideous
Title: King of an Empire to the Shoes of a Misfit
Format: Paperback
Publisher: 1stBooks Library
Rated: *****

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Scandals abound with this current offering from Myke Hideous who has penned a memoir that pulls no punches. He takes on the pretentious scene phonies, hypocritical vegetarians who wear leather, and the show business con artists with equal fervor. Hideous is known for his front man position of bands such as The Empire Hideous, SpySociety99, The Bronx Casket Co. as well as his brief tenure with The Misfits, Hideous recounts upon his youthful dreams of rock stardom, his battles with cancer, incompetent band members, unscrupulous promoters, infidelity, depression, poverty, missed opportunities and a lengthy dialogue of the lies, deceit and abuse he endured while being a part of The Misfits. These memoirs are an insiders view that demonstrates how sometimes a dream can end up a nightmare and reads as though one is sitting and having a long conversation with the author. Each chapter gets more in depth and the guilty are sometimes named while other chapters force the reader to read between the descriptive lines, clearly making this a page turner from beginning to end. King of an Empire is not a mere finger pointing book as Hideous penned this to look at his own limitations and errors as well as those around him. It is delivered objectively with personal comments added in, which round out the perspective he has had thus far. For anyone considering making the music business their career, this book is highly recommended. It takes the rose colored glasses off the dreams of glitz and glamor, confronting the ugly underbelly of the music industry that few ever get to know about. Review by Mike Ventarola
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