Saturday, April 25, 2009

Book Series Review: Incarnations of Immortality

I recently finished Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series. The writing style is wooden at best, with many of the characters having the same dialog styles in the earlier books. Also, the plot lines are a little far-fetched. "You've defeated the Evil Sorceress, but now you must defeat...the Eviler Sorceress!" But I'm not reviewing the series for the writing style or the plot lines. I'm reviewing this series because it falls under a very important category of literature: books kept around not so much for their literary merit, but because they preserve mythology by explaining it in contemporary terms.

The premise of the series is that the roles of Death, Time, Fate, etc., are performed by mortal humans who have temporary immortality as long as they are doing the job. There are seven books in all:
  1. On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk. 1)

  2. Bearing An Hourglass (Incarnations of Immortality, Book 2)

  3. With a Tangled Skein (Book Three of Incarnations of Immortality)

  4. Wielding a Red Sword (Incarnations of Immortality)

  5. Being a Green Mother (Incarnations of Immortality, Book Five)

  6. For Love of Evil: Book Six of Incarnations of Immortality

  7. And Eternity (Incarnations of Immortality)
There's a surprise ending, but that's not the point. The point is that these incarnations represent forces that are present in the universe, and by the Law of Correspondence (As above, so below), are also present in us. So how would you act if it were your job to collect souls that were in the balance? Or to supervise wars? We may not have those literal roles, but we do have corresponding roles in our own lives. For example, we may have to assess parts of our lives that need to die, or be transformed. Or we may need to resolve conflicts. Or we may need to evaluate parts of our lives in terms of long-term goals. So read the series, and pay attention. The life you improve may be your own.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Book Review: Advanced Astrology for Life

Once you've read a couple of the introductory astrology books, for example Astrology for the Light Side of the Brain, Astrology: A Cosmic Science or Astrology for Yourself: How to Understand And Interpret Your Own Birth Chart, and you've done some charts (including your own), you may be ready for the next step. In that case, a good book to read next would be Advanced Astrology for Life: Balance Your Life with Planetary Powers by Constance Stellas.

The book covers a variety of topics, including transits (how the current position of the planets interacts with your birth chart) and horary astrology (answering a question by casting a chart of the time the question was posed). Practical answers are given, for example, how do you know when the influence of a retrograde planet will be released? When the planet goes direct in a progressed chart. Don't worry if you don't know what that means; you just need to read one of the introductory books first. There's also a nice section about composite charts, which deal with relationships.

At its core, astrology is really about the study of cycles. When you are ready for it, this book will help you better understand those cycles.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Book Review: Tarot Tells the Tale

Let's say that you've spent some time learning the theory behind Tarot and the meanings of the cards, but are not sure how to proceed with doing readings for yourself or others. Would some practical examples help? How about some impractical examples? In that case, you're in luck, because Tarot Tells the Tale by James Rickleff is here to help. The book provides 23 actual readings based on fictional and historical characters, with commentary by the author. For example, what would you tell the ugly duckling about how to deal with his siblings? Or Marie Curie about whether to go study in France?

I wouldn't recommend this book for beginners, because most of it is either readings or advice on giving readings, but it would probably make a good second book after Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners. After reading this book, you should be ready to get started.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Intentional Chocolate

A couple of weeks ago, I was sent a link to Intentional Chocolate. They're basically about high-end chocolate, which in my opinion is the only kind worth buying, but there's a twist. Their recipes have an unorthodox ingredient: "conscious intention and love".

Those of you who have read some of the books I've recommended on this blog will know that this type of recipe is not new. It's possibly thousands of years old, and has another name: alchemy. There. I've said it. Of course, they can't use the a-word on their site because the FDA will probably shut them down, but that's exactly what they're doing.

I haven't tried it yet, but I plan to buy some as soon as Venus goes back direct*, which should happen around the 17th. I'll let you know.

*An astrology book I just bought says that luxury purchases should be avoided when Venus is retrograde. More on that (and the book) later.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Book Review: Karmic Tarot

Once you're comfortable doing readings for yourself and others, if you want to take a longer-term approach, you may want to look into Karmic Tarot: A Profound System for Finding and Following Your Life's Path by William C. Lammey. I emphasize experience with readings because this book is definitely not for beginners. Also, this book gives a different approach which is not compatible with the traditional Celtic Cross spread.

The spread used in the book has 22 positions, one for each of the Major Arcana cards. The positions are arranged on a grid of seven columns and four rows. The seven columns represent seven stages of life, from birth to the future. The four columns represent the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual planes. Some of the positions will overlap two life stages. The interpretation of each card in the spread starts with a more traditional interpretation, but is modified by the Major Arcana card governing the position in the spread.

Another interesting thing about the book is that the Minor Arcana cards are interpreted using a combination of suit and number, as opposed to the more common method of extrapolating from the pictures on the cards. The author says he likes to use decks with simple arrangements of the suit symbols instead of descriptive pictures because that allows more flexibility of interpretation. That's an idea that merits further study, and I'll post more on that later.

I plan on giving this system a try some time in the future. I'll post again when I do.