Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Church of Yahweh

I found this link while looking for study groups on the Meditations on the Tarot book. I've spent a few hours over the weekend looking over the material on the website, and it's the real deal. While I haven't seen much that you wouldn't find in the metaphysics section of Barnes and Noble or Borders, or that you would get from my favorite mystery school, the presentation is very accessible and well thought-out, with the required academic rigor.

I'm sure that anyone who follows this blog will find the site very interesting.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Book Review: Transforming Fate into Destiny

There is a belief that creativity and structure are opposites. This belief killed poetry around the turn of the 20th century, and almost killed music and the visual arts. This belief is not quite accurate. In fact, creativity cannot exist without structure. This is because without structure, you get random noise, and one bit of random noise is indistinguishable from the next. The greatest writers, composers and artists all worked under well-defined structures.

What I've just said about structure and creativity also apply to our lives, which are being composed, though not quite in the same way as a symphony or novel would be. This process is the subject of Transforming Fate into Destiny: A New Dialogue with Your Soul by Robert Ohotto. In the model used by the book, the structure of our lives is called "fate", and the results of our creativity within this structure are called "destiny." But what is this structure and where does it come from? The idea is that there is something designing things from a higher level than we can see where we are. You can call this something God if you are a Christian, or your Higher Self if your beliefs are more New Age or (like me) spiritual but not religious. This higher-level design is the structure. Certain major life events are planned in advance, but we still have the freedom to work within those parameters, and the result can be something better than either party could have planned or experienced alone.

If fate and destiny are of interest to you, I recommend you get a copy of the book and try the exercises, especially the one about ego prayer vs. soul prayer.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Review: Intuitive Astrology

I've been recommending Astrology for Yourself: How to Understand And Interpret Your Own Birth Chartfor people who want to learn about astrology, or at least about what their birth charts can tell them about their lives, but now I have an alternative for those of you who are more right-brain-oriented. It's Intuitive Astrology: Follow Your Best Instincts to Become Who You Always Intended to Be by Elizabeth Rose Campbell.

This book takes a unique approach in that it doesn't just tell you what the planets, sign, houses, and aspects mean, but instead give you questions to ask yourself, and encourages you to access your own intuition to find out what the components mean for you personally. Now we all need to relate the components of the birth chart to our own lives, but this book has you do that up front. You can always read the laundry lists given by other books later.

The best part of this book is the chapter on the planets. A description is given for what each planet does, and you are asked how this applies in your own life. This is a very useful exercise because it can show you parts of yourself that you didn't know existed. This alone makes the book worth the admission price.

I recommend the book to anyone who wants to learn about astrology, but especially to those who like to use their intuition and to those who are given to self-examination.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Book Review: The Occult Christ

Having read The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila and Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross, I knew that there was a strong (if not well publicized) spiritual tradition with the Catholic Church. Meditations on the Tarot, which I've been examining in detail, is also firmly in that tradition, but none of these three books offers an explicit program of study and practice. The Occult Christ: The Hidden & Mystical Secrets of Christianity by Ted Andrews offers just such a program.

The words "occult" and "Christianity" aren't obviously compatible, especially in the minds of those Christians who prefer literal interpretations. To those of us in the know, on the other hand, "occult" simply means "hidden," and there are explicit references in the Gospels to knowledge that was shared with the Apostles but not the general public. Also, you can't have the rest of the Bible meant to be taken literally but not John 14:12, and it's no good saying "He didn't mean it that way, because it hasn't happened."

That brings me to an important point: the old saying that history is written by the winners. The Catholic Church was at one point more powerful than any king in Europe, and until the 1400's they had almost exclusive control over not only the Bible, but recorded history itself. The version of the Bible that we have now is more or less the version they wanted us to have. However, I don't think any censorship that may have happened was because they didn't want anyone to know; I think it was because they didn't want everyone to know, at least not right away. As a religion for the masses, it has to be lowest common denominator. Most people simply aren't ready for the program outlined in this book, and they need to have things be black-and-white. It can't be helped.

But that doesn't apply to us recovering materialists, and if you happen to come from a Catholic background, you'll be able to relate to the program given in the book, and that means that it would be a good choice for you.