Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hinduism A Way Of Life Documentary Dvd

Hinduism A Way Of Life Documentary Dvd Cover

Book: Hinduism A Way Of Life Documentary Dvd by Sanjay Visharia

Hinduism is a philosophy. It is therefore a big or small as persons mind. Hinduism originated on the Indian subcontinent and it is one of the most mysterious and ancient faiths in the world. Having two million Gods, people choose the God to worship which they feel will protect them and help guide them through their everyday life. In Hinduism every God from every religion is welcome. To a Hindu to worship any God cannot hurt, it may even help.

Considered to be the oldest religion in the world, Hinduism has no single founder and is based on a number of religious texts developed over many centuries that contain spiritual insights and practical guidelines for religious life. Today across the world more and more people are getting fascinated by Hinduism.

Come, take a journey into the world s third largest religion and you may find in it something that will touch your heart. It can be something that you have been following for years even though you may not be Hindu. This is because Hinduism is not a religion per se. It is way of life!!

Hinduism insists on the brotherhood of not only all mankind but all that lives Mahatma Gandhi. Hinduism is not a religion, it is just a way of life that thousands of Rishis have written about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Buy Sanjay Visharia's book: Hinduism A Way Of Life Documentary Dvd

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Attaining The Worlds Beyond

Attaining The Worlds Beyond Cover

Book: Attaining The Worlds Beyond by Rabbi Michael Laitman

It is beyond human comprehension to Understand the essence of such spiritual qualities as total altruism and love. Even the existence of such feelings is beyond our comprehension; we seem to require an incentive to perform any act that does not promise us some form of personal gain. That is why a quality such as altruism can only be imparted to us from Above, and only those of us who have experienced it can Understand it. Rabbi Michael Laitman

Among all the texts and notes that were used by my Rabbi, Baruch Shalom Halevi Ashlag, there was one particular notebook he always carried. This notebook contained all the transcripts of his conversations with his father, Rabbi Yehuda
Leib Halevi Ashlag, the Rabbi of Jerusalem, and a Kabbalist. He was the author of a 21-volume Commentary on the book of Zohar, as well as the author of a six-volume commentary on the texts of the Kabbalist, Ari, and of many other works on Kabbalah.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Yin And Yang

Yin And Yang Cover
In Chinese cosmology, Yin and Yang are two opposite but complementary principles that regulate the functioning of the cosmos. Their repeated alternation provides the energy necessary for the cosmos to sustain itself, and their continuous joining and separation is at the origin of the rise and the disappearance of the entities and phenomena that exist within the world of the "ten thousand things" (wanwu).

According to a celebrated statement, which is found in one of the appendixes to the Book of Changes (Yijing), "one Yin and one Yang, this is the Dao." This sentence refers to the Dao that first determines itself as the One (or Oneness), and then through the One gives birth to the two complementary principles. As each of these stages generates the next one, Yin and Yang are ultimately contained within the Dao itself. At the same time, the phrase "one Yin and one Yang, this is the Dao" refers to the continuous alternation of Yin and Yang within the cosmos. When one of the two principles prevails, the other yields, but once one of them has reached the height of its development, it begins to recede; in that very moment, the other principle begins its ascent. This mode of operation is especially visible in the time cycles of the day (alternation of daytime and nighttime) and of the year (alternation of the four seasons).

The origins of these notions are impossible to ascertain. Scholars generally deem that the terms yin and yang originally denoted the shaded and sunny sides of a hill, and later began to be used in an abstract sense as cosmological categories. The earliest extant text that contains a list of items arranged according to their Yin and Yang qualities is a manuscript found in Mawangdui entitled Designations (Cheng), likely dating from the third century BCE. Examples of Yang and Yin items, respectively, mentioned in this text include heaven and earth; above and below; day and night; summer and winter; spring and autumn; man and woman; father and child; elder brother and younger brother; ruler and minister; soldiers and labourers; speech and silence; giving and receiving; action and non-action.

Between the third and the second centuries BCE, the notion of Yin and Yang become one the main pillars of correlative cosmology, a feature of which is the coordination of several pre-existent patterns of emblems including, besides Yin and Yang, the Five Agents and the eight trigrams and sixty-four hexagrams of the Book of Changes. Each of these patterns represents a particular way of explicating the features and functioning of the cosmos. In the system of correlative cosmology, for instance, Yin is related to the agents Metal (west/autumn) and Water (north/winter), while Yang is related to Wood (east/spring) and Fire (south/summer), and the balance between them is represented by the central agent Soil. The association with the Five Agents is at the origin of the view that Yin and Yang are further subdivided into two states each: "minor Yang" (Wood), "great Yang" (Fire), "minor Yin" (Metal), and "great Yin" (Water).

The relations among the different cosmological configurations that intervene between the Dao and the "ten thousand things" are illustrated in the well-known Chart of the Great Ultimate (Taiji tu), which was discussed at length by both Daoist and Neo-Confucian authors. This chart depicts, on top, the Absolute (wuji) as an empty circle. Below it is another circle that represents the Great Ultimate (taiji) as harboring the Two, or Yin and Yang, shown as two semicircles that mirror each other. Each of them is made of black (Yin) and white (Yang) lines that enclose each other, to depict Yin containing Yang and Yang containing Yin. The empty circle within these lines corresponds to the empty circle on top; this alludes to the principle that Yin and Yang are the "function" or "operation" (yong) of Emptiness, which in turn is their "substance" or "core" (ti). Following this are the Five Agents, that constitute a further stage in the progressive differentiation of Oneness into multiplicity. The lines that connect them to each other show the sequence in which they are generated, namely Wood, Fire, Soil, Metal, and Water. In this cosmological configuration, the Great Ultimate is represented by the central Soil (which is said to have a "male" and a "female" aspect), and reappears as the small empty circle below, which represents the conjunction of Water and Fire ("great Yin" and "great Yang") and of Wood and Metal ("minor Yang" and "minor Yin"). The circle below the Five Agents represents Heaven and Earth, or the active and passive principles that respectively give birth to and support the existence of the "ten thousand things," represented by the circle at the base of the chart.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Is Theosophy

What Is Theosophy Cover Theosophy, literally "wisdom of the divine" (in the Greek language), designates several bodies of ideas. Philosophers such as Emanuel Swedenborg and Jacob Boehme are commonly called theosophists. The word was revived in the nineteenth century by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky to designate her religious philosophy which holds that all religions are attempts by humanity to approach the absolute, and that each religion therefore has a portion of the truth. Together with Henry Steel Olcott, William Quan Judge, and others, Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. This society has since split into a number of organizations, some of which no longer use the term "theosophy".

A formal definition from the Concise Oxford Dictionary describes Theosophy as "any of various philosophies professing to achieve a knowledge of God by spiritual ecstasy, direct intuition, or special individual revelation; esp. a modern movement following Hindu and Buddhist teachings, and seeking universal brotherhood." Madame Blavatsky's theosophy would, however, not fall under this definition, as it is non-theistic.

Adherents of Theosophy maintain that it is a "body of truth" that forms the basis of all religions. Theosophy, they claim, represents a modern face of Sanatana Dharma, "the eternal truth," as the proper religion.

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What Is Taoism

What Is Taoism Cover The English word "Taoism" is used to translate the Chinese terms "Daojiao" (teachings/religion of the Dao) and "Daojia" (school of the Dao). The character Tao (or Dao, depending on the romanisation scheme) means "path" or "way", but in Chinese religion and philosophy it has taken on more abstract meanings. The compound "Daojiao" refers to Daoism as a religion; "Daojia" refers to the activity of scholars in their studies. It must be noted that this distinction is itself controversial and fraught with hermeneutic difficulty.

Much uncertainty exists over the meaning of "Taoism," not least because of its often being confused with such seemingly similar disciplines such as Zen. In some countries and contexts (for example, the "Taoism" organisations of China and Taiwan), the label is applied to Chinese folk religion, which would otherwise not have a readily recognisable English name. However many, if not most, of its practitioners would not recognise "Taoism" (in any language) as the name of their religion. Moreover, the several forms of what we might call "elite" or "organised" Taoism often distinguish their ritual activities from those of the folk religion, which some professional "Taoists" (Daoshi) tend to view as debased.

Chinese alchemy, astrology, cuisine, several Chinese martial arts, Chinese traditional medicine, fengshui, and many styles of qigong breath training disciplines have some relationship with Taoism.

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What Is Shamanism

What Is Shamanism Cover Shamanism is perhaps one of the oldest divinatory practices in the world to promote healing. By archaeological and anthropological evidence the practice has existed for some 20,000 to 30,000 years, perhaps since the beginning of the human race. Evidence of shamanism has been found globally in isolated regions of the Americas, Asia, Africa, regions of Europe and Australia.

Usually shamans are called to their profession in two ways: by heredity or by spontaneous and involuntary election by the Supernaturals. There are some who seek out the training, but these individuals are not considered as powerful. An exception to the latter is found the Native North Americans because many undertake vision quests to ask for healing power or the help of a guardian spirit. The shaman is distinguished from others by the greater number of his guardian spirits, by the intensity of his vision, and by his greater power.

Although differences of practices are found among the cultures similarities are found too. The shaman lives in two worlds: the ordinary and the nonordinary reality, also called the "shamanic state of consciousness." To enter the shamanic state the shaman must experience an ecstatic trance, or he will not be able to perform all the required functions or duties. This qualification is what sets the shaman apart from all other priests and adepts.When entering the nonordinary reality, which is an unique altered state of consciousness (see Altered States of Consciousness), the shaman has access to the three zones of most cosmologies: earth, sky, and the underworld, which are connected by a central axis represented by a World Pillar, World Tree, or World Mountain. He is lucid throughout his altered state, controls it, and recalls afterward what transpired during it. While in the shamanic state the shaman sees other nonworldly realities, perhaps multiple realities simultaneously. It is in this state that the shaman accesses information that is unavailable to him in the ordinary reality.

It is essential for the shaman to be able to enter the shamanic state at will. He practices techniques that allow him to do so such as drumming, rattling, chanting, dancing, sexual abstinence, sweat baths, staring at a flame, concentrating on imagery, and isolating himself in darkness. Although some societies use psychedelic drugs for this purpose, others claim drugs are not essential

In the shamanic state the shaman has various powers that he does possess in ordinary reality. He can see spirits and souls, and communicate with them; make magical flights to the heavens where he serves as intermediary between the gods and his people; and descend to the underworld, the land of the dead. These flights are accomplished by shape-shifting (see Metamorphosis), he rides mythical horses or the spirits of sacrificed horses, travels in spirits boats, and the like.

Most believe that they must have a close connection with nature because their guardian spirit usually is that of a plant or animal. Many say the guardian spirit takes the shaman to the other realities through holes between worlds where he is given his needed knowledge and power to help his people and village. This latter purpose makes it essential that the shaman remains lucid throughout his shamanic journeys, so he can bring back vital information that will help his people. A.G.H.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Seth In The Magical Texts

Seth In The Magical Texts Cover

Book: Seth In The Magical Texts by Jarl Fossum

The scope of this paper is to clear up two misconceptions about the identity of Seth in the magical texts. Although it may appear to be rather modest, the scope is an entirely appreciable one, for the name of Seth is prevalent in magical literature.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

A Book Of Satyrs

A Book Of Satyrs Cover

Book: A Book Of Satyrs by Austin Osman Spare

The field of black and white art has been generously extended since that golden period in the "eighties" when Walker and Pinwell and Millais wrought their quiet designs, although their olden delicacy of interpretation (for us almost wholly in the hands of Clemance Housman) can still claim charms which our more facile method can never attain. For every such accomplished craft is the companion of an aristocracy of art, even if it is compelled to prayer and fasting before serving fittingly the high expression which is exhaustive of every resource; but it shares, on the other hand, with commoner orders of art its own eloquence and dignity. Thus all advantages we now possess of rapid, literal,
and cheap reproduction open the way to an easier acceptance of art which is habited with more grace than profundity, more fancy than imagination, and inclines us to postpone indefinitely what is only acquired at more pain and cost.

The "Earth" Book of Spare was an elemental and chaotic thing, full of significant art, and of still more significant conception. So mighty a theme may only remain littered with fragments, each, like the Sphinx, an unread riddle, existing in the mind amid a turmoil of unaccustomed thought. But the present series of designs occupies the more circumscribed area of local allegory on a physical plane, the artist aiming not only to stir the optical centres by agreeable contours and adjacencies, when he adjusts with powerful deliberation the actual to a purpose which extends in his mind beyond executive considerations. For that is a narrow scope to which some would compel art, as though a predisposition to beauty were the sole equipment desirable for the expression of life. Popular art, in the sense that this book can never be popular, arises, indeed, from an extraordinary pessimism : it is an unwholesome flattery of the environment and
circumstance from out whose grip the man at length emerges equipped for faith by knowledge.

In his art Spare continually achieves the unexpected ; his pattern is always original ; his characteristic line is of fine nervous quality ; his types are powerfully visualised. The very subtle irony of his temper is apparent in a hundred whimsical ways-in attitudes, gestures, expressions-too delicate to be more than contributory to the whole impression. This appropriate irony especially fits Spare for satire, and it is here to be seen and felt, for it can neither be disregarded nor forgotten-which words it is well to be able to write of one satirist in our day of curbed enthusiasm and polite art.

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What Is Satanism

What Is Satanism Cover Satanism. The cult of Satan, or Satan worship, is in part a survival of the ancient worship of demons and in part a revolt against Christianity or the church. It rose about the 12th cent. in Europe and reached its culmination in the blasphemous ritual of the Black Mass, a desecration of the Christian rite. The history of early Satanism is obscure.

Satanism comprises a number of related beliefs and social phenomena. They share the feature of symbolism, veneration or admiration of Satan (or similar figures). Generally, those Satanists who believe in the Judeo-Christian concept of Satan are linked into the belief system of today's Judeo-Christian religion, as they believe in the same theology presented in the Hebrew bible. Satan, also called Lucifer in many Christian religions, first appeared in the Hebrew Bible and was an Angel who challenged the religious faith of humans and the rule of Yahweh. In the Book of Job he is called "the Satan" (meaning "the accuser") and acted as the prosecutor in God's court. A character named "Satan" was described as the cosmic enemy of the Lord and temptor of Jesus within many of the Gospels of early Christians. It was further developed in scope and power as the bringer of Armageddon and Apocalypse as featured within the Book of Revelation.

Cults associated with satanism have been documented, however sketchily, back to the 17th century. Their central feature is the black mass, a corrupted and inverted rendition of the Christian Eucharist. Practices are said to include animal sacrifice and deviant sexual activity. Worship is motivated by the belief that Satan is more powerful than the forces of good, and so is more capable of bringing about the results sought by his adherents.

It was revived in the reign of Louis XIV in France and is still practiced by various groups throughout the world, particularly in the United States. One of the largest and most influential Satanic groups is the Church of Satan (1966), founded by Anton LaVey in San Francisco. A splinter group, the Temple of Set (1975), was organized by Michael Aquino. Many Satanic groups, including the ones mentioned, attest that such worship does not necessarily imply evil intentions, but rather an alternative to the repressive morality of many other religious groups. Such groups see no harm in their indulgence in "worldly pleasures" that other religions forbid.

Other, more severe brands of Satanism likely exist, although much of the activity pegged as "Satanic" has less to do with the religion than with various forms of sociopathy. Indeed, reliable research has found no evidence indicating the existence of alarming, large-scale Satanic phenomena. An unfortunate mistake is the unfounded-yet common-linkage of minority religious traditions, such as the African-derived voodoo and Santeri'a, with Satanism.

Satanism had plainly declined by the end of the 1970s; however, in the mid 1980s reports that it had merely gone underground began to surface. Claims of the existence of a massive Satanic underground emerged around a set of reports concerning ritual child abuse. Amid the heightened concern for child abuse generated during the era, children began to tell horrendous stories of having been abused as part of forced participation in Satanic rituals, both in homes and in day care centers. These stories were soon joined by an increasing number of stories of women, and a few men, mostly in their thirties, who told stories of having been abused as children and youth, and then having suppressed the memories until they were recalled twenty years later in sessions with counselors.



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What Is Rosicrucianism

What Is Rosicrucianism Cover The Rosicrucian Order is a legendary esoteric Order publicly documented in the early 17th century. This hermetic Order is viewed among earlier and many modern Rosicrucianists as a "College of Invisibles" from the inner worlds, composed of great Adepts, aiming to give assistance in mankind's spiritual unfoldment. When compared to human beings, the consciousness of these Adepts is said to be like that of demi-gods.

Several modern societies have been formed for the study of Rosicrucianism and allied subjects. However, many researchers on the history of Rosicrucianism argue that modern Rosicrucianists are in no sense directly derived from the "Brethren of the Rose Cross" of the 17th century. Instead, they are considered to be keen followers. Moreover, some have viewed the 17th century Order as a literary hoax or prank, rather than an operative society. Others contend that history shows them to be the genesis of later operative and functional societies. Rosicrucianism has its roots in the western mystery tradition and is generally associated with the symbol of the Rose Cross. The Rosicrucian greeting is, "May the Roses bloom upon your Cross."

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

What Is Metaphysics

What Is Metaphysics Cover Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that investigates principles of reality transcending those of any particular science. Cosmology and ontology are traditional branches of metaphysics. It is concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world. Someone who studies metaphysics would be called either a "metaphysician" or a "metaphysicist."

The word derives from the Greek words meta (meaning "beyond" or "after") and physika (meaning "physical"), "physical" referring to those works on matter by Aristotle in antiquity. The prefix meta- ("beyond") was attached to the chapters in Aristotle's work that physically followed after the chapters on "physics," in posthumously edited collections. Aristotle himself did not call these works Metaphysics. Aristotle called some of the subjects treated there "first philosophy."

A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into what types of things there are in the world and what relations these things bear to one another. The metaphysician also attempts to clarify the notions by which people understand the world, including existence, objecthood, property, space, time, causality, and possibility.

Before the development of modern science, scientific questions were addressed as a part of metaphysics known as "natural philosophy"; the term "science" itself meant "knowledge" of epistemological origin. The scientific method, however, made natural philosophy an empirical and experimental activity unlike the rest of philosophy, and by the end of the eighteenth century it had begun to be called "science" in order to distinguish it from philosophy. Thereafter, metaphysics became the philosophical enquiry of a non-empirical character into the nature of existence.

Metaphysics is generally taken to mean philosophical speculation beyond the current or even seemingly possible limits of science or technology to test, the development of systems intended to explain origins and purpose, and the place of man in the universe. The word 'metaphysics' has its origin simply from those books of Aristotle which were placed in sequence after his Physics. The pejorative sense of 'obscure' and 'over-speculative' is recent, especially following attempts by A. J. Ayer and others to show that metaphysics is strictly nonsense.

In the history of Western philosophy, metaphysics has been understood in various ways: as an inquiry into what basic categories of things there are (e.g., the mental and the physical); as the study of reality, as opposed to appearance; as the study of the world as a whole; and as a theory of first principles. Some basic problems in the history of metaphysics are the problem of universals — i.e., the problem of the nature of universals and their relation to so-called particulars; the existence of God; the mind-body problem; and the problem of the nature of material, or external, objects. Major types of metaphysical theory include Platonism, Aristotelianism, Thomism, Cartesianism (see also dualism), idealism, realism, and materialism.

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What Is Martinism

What Is Martinism Cover Martinism is a philosophical movement started in 18th century France by Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin and based on Mystic Christian illuminist philosophy with theurgical integration added for good measure. The core belief of this religion is that mankind should return to its original and divine state. This was to be accomplished both by metaphysical knowledge and by Theurgical abilities, that is to say magical abilities which would put the user in touch with benevolent and divine powers. The initiation which was originally provided by Saint-Martin himself, gave the student illumination, enlightenment, empowerment. As time went by the additional sciences of Christian mysticism, Theosophy, Cabbala, esotericism and Hermeticism were introduced into the religion.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

What Is Hinduism

What Is Hinduism Cover There is a paucity of information in the West as to what is the religion called "Hinduism". The truth of the matter is that it is no single religion, but a grouping of religions, all of which originated at different times and locals in what is commonly called the Indian Subcontinent.

Anthropologically speaking, the earliest two religions of the Bharat Peninsula (as the Indians themselves often refer to their country) were Vaishnavism, as epitomized by the various Vedas and Upanishads, and Shaivism, found in the earliest Texts in Tamil.

The Vedic civilization is believed to have formed around the Saraswati River, now mostly a dry ditch seen only in satellite photos, which relocated to the area around the Indus River when the Saraswati dried up (in other words, modern day Eastern Iran and Afghanistan, relocating to modern Pakistan). The Vedas themselves may (or may not) predate the Saraswati civilization; indeed, some find passages in the Sama Veda which appears to have originated either in the farthest Arctic regions or even off-planet, depending on who you believe. The infamous caste system of present-day India was due to a mis-reading of the Vedas; originally it was little different from the European system of Guilds.

At any rate, the Vedic civilization was based on the Vedas, which spoke the worship of Vishnu (hence Vaishnavism) and his ten avatars (the tenth is assumed to be incarnated yet in the future). The Upanishads expanded upon the Vedas, and other great poems, such as the Mahabharata (of which the popular Bhagavad Gita is a part), further resulted in the religion's growth among the people.

The ancient Tamil documents spoke of Shiva as the Creator (with his Shakti, which can either be seen as his creative energy, his feminine side, or even his wife). The Tamil-speaking (and related languages) people were in the southeast of India, now the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and the country of Sri Lanka.

Apparently at some point, the two cultures traveled widely enough to meet one another. In what is perhaps the only time in the history of mankind, these two cultures examined each others' religions, and rather than declaring war, declared them co-equal (which through the centuries has confused even Hindu scholars into thinking it truly is a single religion).

In the background, for whatever reason the women were mostly left out of the observances of this religion, and from this rose the worship of Devi, or Shakti, which today is called Shaktism. All three groups today include male and female worshippers, but only the Shaktins have any females in the priesthood.

The fourth, and smallest, sect which makes up "Hinduism" is called Smarta or Smartism. The Smartas believe in the Vedas and other Vaishnava writings, but rather than believe in Vishnu as the Supreme Deity, they feel it is up to the believer to choose his or her primary deity from among the gods. The main effect this has had upon Hinduism has been the naming of the ultimate deity as Brahman, as he is often referred to in the Vedas, and allowing Vishnu, Shiva, and and Brahma to be seen as a tripartate form of Brahman; they can be trivialized to "preserver, destroyer, and creator", as they often are when seen by the West, or considered each and all to be full Brahman.

Around the 6th Century b.c.e., the 24th Tirthankar, Mahavira, solidified the Tirthankar teachings into Jainism, still a powerful sect despite its small size and belief non-procreation, as well as in the holiness of the tiniest creature on the planet. This is perhaps the gentlest religion on the planet, as it reveres all life and seeks to harm nothing in any way.

The next "reform movement" in Hinduism was begun by Gautama, called "the Buddha". At one point in time, Buddhism encompassed not only most of India but also much of eastern Asia. The earliest origins are clouded in history, but the Second Council (which became schismatic) was thought to have been held around 100 b.c.e. As the Buddha mostly taught the same basic spirituality but was essentially non-theistic (practice was emphasized over belief), it engulfed many other native religions in the region, but this was ultimately responded to.

In Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kashmir, from 800 to 1100 c.e., new versions of Shaivite thought emerged, adopting the Vedas but promoting Shiva as the Supreme Deity and expanding upon both ancient teachings and the more modern Buddhist teachings, showing the "fallacies" in either or both, resulting in Virashaiva and Kashmir (Trika) Shaivism. In the predominantly Vaishnavite areas of Punjab and Bengal, Krishna emerged from the Mahabharata as the Supreme Form of Deity (Vishnu).

Around this time also came the Islamic invasion, which nearly wiped out Vedic teachings and destroyed thousands of books (some of which survived by having been transported out of India by Buddhist monks over centuries). Remember, by this time even the Shaivas had adopted the Vedas.

About 1600 c.e., the great teacher Arjan Dev, in Punjab, collected the greatest surviving teachings in the Hindu world, in poetry form, forming what became the Adi Granth, and created the Sikh religion using this book as their center. This book by itself preserved much of the sacred poetry from the torch of the Moslems, as the Sikhs became known as ferocious fighters and, slowly, beat back the invading Moslems. The Adi Granth was expanded by later Sikh Gurus, until, upon the death of the 10th Guru, the book itself was proclaimed the True Guru (Guru Granth Sahib).

The various forms of Hinduism have changed the West in many small ways, but are still largely misunderstood in the West. For instance, Buddhist monks created "malas", necklaces of meditation beads, well before Christ; when this came into contact with the Catholic Church, I cannot say, but it was modified into the Rosary. Madame Blavatsky in the 19th Century c.e. tried to adopt and even alter Hindusim and present it to the West as Theosophy; she hoped to raise J. Krishnamurti to be the Avatar for the New Age, but the man himself, upon reaching majority, declined the honor.

Much more could be said; indeed, much of what I just presented is in doubt and the sources may be fuzzy. Hinduism today consists of (in the view of Hindus) Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Smartism, and Shaktism, but it is easily seen how one could include Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, as well as other sub-sects (such as ISKCON, a branch of Vaishnavism), into the mix.

In the last 20 years, Western Pagans have found many similarities between their beliefs and those of the various Hindu religions. The result is IndoPaganism, which was reported on in PanGaea Magazine, Spring 2007, by Devi Spring.

There is no end to this subject. It is my fervent hope that this document can be improved, especially with the addition of appropriate footnotes.

Gerald L. "Moss" Bliss, D.D.

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Ro Winstedt - Shaman Saiva And Sufi

What Is Hermeticism

What Is Hermeticism Cover Hermeticism is a set of philosophical and religious beliefs based primarily upon the writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. These beliefs have influenced magic traditions and further, the impact of serving as a set of religious beliefs. Whatever the impact of the beliefs, they stem from teachings and books accredited to Hermes Trismegistus, who is put forth as a wise sage and Egyptian priest, commonly seen as synonymous with the Egyptian god Thoth.

Books You Might Enjoy:

Hermes Trismegistus - Book I Hermes Trismegistus
John White - Toward Homo Noeticus
Georg Lomer - Seven Hermetic Letters
John Everard - Corpus Hermeticum Hermes Trismegistus
Aristotle - Metaphysics

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bob Passantino - Satanism

Bob Passantino - Satanism Image
I found this to be a refreshingly calm and objective look at an alternative religious movement. To my surprise, I found that the authors disparaged more hysterical fundamentalist accounts of conspiracy theories, and even admitted that some fundamentalists lie about satanic ritual abuse and satanic conspiracy theories. They also regard many "satanists" as nothing more than very naughty adolescent misfits. As a neopagan, I was also pleased to see that the authors distinguish our traditions from satanist practices. Neopagans do not believe in an incarnated antideity of evil or Nietzschean superhumanity, whereas christians and satanists do. Stripped of the evangelical apologetics, this would be an excellent offering in a comparative religion course. I hope the authors and publisher decide to market it as such, as I am sure it would meet a warm reception if they did.

Belief in Satan worship is often viewed as an embarrassing throwback to the superstitions of another time. And "selling your soul to the Devil"? Nothing more than an overworked theme in literature and opera. To the contrary, Bob and Gretchen Passantino show how, in the midst of prevailing attitudes of skepticism and disbelief, Satanism has made unprecedented inroads into our society.

This book is the Passantino's contribution to the Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements. The Passantinos have cultivated a reputation over their 20 plus years of ministry for fairness, accuracy and truthfulness. They took a leading role in the Christian community to debunk false claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse.

In conducting their research, they interviewed Anton Szandor LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan. It was the first interview that he had granted for publication in fifteen years.

Satanism concisely presents the findings of the Passantinos research. It is the definitive Christian book on the subject, and it is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in understanding Satanism as it exists in late 20th century America. It is extensively documented and full of factual information.

Find Bob Passantino's book in amazon.com:
Bob Passantino - Satanism

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What Is Grimoires

What Is Grimoires Cover A grimoire is a book describing magical beliefs and practices, written between the late-medieval period and the 18th century. Such books contain astrological correspondences, lists of angels and demons, directions on casting charms and spells, on mixing medicines, summoning unearthly entities, and making talismans. "Magical" books in almost any context, especially books of magical spells, are also called grimoires.

The word grimoire is from the Old French gramaire, and is from the same root as the words grammar and glamour. This is partly because, in the mid-late Middle Ages, Latin "grammars" (books on Latin syntax and diction) were foundational to school and university education, as controlled by the Church - while to the illiterate majority, non-ecclesiastical books were suspect as magic. But "grammar" also denoted, to literate and illiterate alike, a book of basic instruction. A grammar is a description of a set of symbols and how to combine them to create well-formed sentences. A Grimoire is, appropriately enough, a description of a set of magickal symbols and how to combine them properly.

Books You Might Enjoy:

Ancient Grimoires - The 8th Book Of Moses
Julian Wilde - Grimoire Of Chaos Magick
Medieval Grimoires - The Picatrix

What Is Goetia

What Is Goetia Cover Goetia (Middle Latin, anglicized goety (pronounced /goeti/), from Greek goeteia "sorcery") refers to a practice which includes the invocation of angels or the evocation of demons, and usage of the term in English largely derives from the 17th century grimoire The Lesser Key of Solomon, which features an Ars Goetia as its first section. It contains descriptions of the evocation of seventy-two demons, famously edited by Aleister Crowley in 1904 as The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King.

Goetic Theurgy, another practice described in the Lesser Key of Solomon, is similar to the book's description of Goetia, but is used to invoke aerial spirits.

Etymology

Ancient Greek (goeteia) means "charm, jugglery" from "sorcerer, wizard". The meaning of "sorcerer" is attested in a scholion, referring to the Dactyli, stating that according to Pherecydes and Hellanicus, those to the left are goetes, while those to the right are deliverers from sorcery. The word may be ultimately derived from the verb "groan, bewail". Derived terms are "a charm" and "to bewitch, beguile".

Goetia was a term for witchcraft in Hellenistic magic. Latinized goetia via French goetie was adopted into English as goecie, goety in the 16th century.

Books You Might Enjoy:

Dean Hildebrandt - Essay On Enochiana
Nathaniel Harris - Liber Satangelica
Aleister Crowley - To Man

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What Is Gnosticism

What Is Gnosticism Cover Gnosticism is a philosophical and religious movement which started in pre-Christian times. The term is derived from the Greek word gnosis which means "knowledge". It is pronounced with a silent "G" (NO-sis). Gnostics claimed to have secret knowledge about God, humanity and the rest of the universe of which the general population was unaware. It became one of the three main belief systems within 1st century Christianity, and was noted for its: novel beliefs about Gods, the Bible and the world which differed from those of other Christian groups tolerance of different religious beliefs within and outside of Gnosticism lack of discrimination against women. The movement and its literature were essentially wiped out by the end of the 5th century CE by heresy hunters from mainline Christianity. Its beliefs are currently experiencing a rebirth throughout the world. The counter-cult movement and some other Christian ministries disseminate a great deal of misinformation about the movement (10,11,12)

Gnosticism consisted of many syncretistic belief systems which combined elements taken from Asian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek and Syrian pagan religions, from astrology, and from Judaism and Christianity. They constituted one of the three main branches of early Christianity: the other two being:

the remnants of the Jewish Christian sect which was created by Jesus' disciples, and
the churches started by St. Paul, that were eventually to grow and develop into "mainline" Christianity by the end of the third century.

By the second century CE, many very different Christian-Gnostic sects had formed within the Roman Empire at the eastern end of the Mediterranean. Some Gnostics worked within Jewish Christian and mainline Christian groups, and greatly influenced their beliefs from within. Others formed separate communities. Still others were solitary practitioners.

As mainline Christianity grew in strength and organization, Gnostic sects came under increasing pressure and persecution. They almost disappeared by the 6th century. The only group to have survived into modern times is the Mandaean sect of Iraq and Iran. This group has about 15,000 members (one source says 1,500), and can trace their history continuously back to the original Gnostic movement.

Many new emerging religions in the West have adopted ancient Gnostic beliefs and practices.

Ancient Gnostic Leaders:
Simon Magus: He was one of the earliest Gnostics He was skilled in the arts of magic. He interpreted the Garden of Eden, exodus from Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea as allegories.
Marcion: (85-160 CE) He organized a series of Gnostic congregations in the eastern Mediterranean which survived into the 3rd century CE. He wrote a book called Antitheses which earned him excommunication by the Christian leaders of Rome. He rejected the institution of marriage. He believed that the Demiurge arranged Jesus' persecution and crucifixion. But the death of Christ on the cross was only a hallucination, since Jesus did not have a physical body.
Valentinus: He was born in Egypt, traveled to Rome about 140 CE and then moved to Cyprus. He was the founder of perhaps the largest and most influential school of Gnosticism which lasted until it was suppressed in the 4th century CE. He taught that groups of Aeons made up the "pleroma (fullness) of the High God. One group, the Ogoad are called: Depth, Silence, Mind, Truth, Word, Life, Man and Church. Another group was the Decad (10) and Dodecad (12). The last of the Docecad was Wisdom, also called Sophia.
Carpocrates: (circa 140 CE); He taught reincarnation. An individual had to live many lives and adsorb a full range of experiences before being able to return to God. They practiced free sexuality. They believed that Jesus was the son of Joseph.

Interaction of Gnosticism and Early Mainline Christianity

Some Gnostic beliefs and leaders may have infiltrated mainline Christianity and influenced the Authors of the Christian Scriptures (New Testament)

Some theologians believe that the Carpocratian Gnostics were the target of Jude's attack about "...certain men" who " have secretly slipped in among you,". The book of Jude, Verses 4 to 19, deals mainly with these infiltrators.

Simon Magus, an early Gnostic, may have been the Simon mentioned in Acts 8:9-24. Simon believed in Jesus and was baptized with a group of other believers. But none had received the Holy Spirit until Peter and John placed their hands on the new converts. Simon asked for the laying on of the apostles' hands and even offered money. Peter refused, because Simon's heart was not right with God.

Matthew 4:8-9 describes how Satan took Jesus to a very high mountain and offered him all of the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would only bow down and worship him. This passage has always been difficult to understand, because it implies that the world belonged to the Devil and was his to give away to Christ. But the passage matches Gnostic belief very closely.

Books You Might Enjoy:

Anonymous - The Mysticism Of Masonry
Walter Begley - Biblia Cabalistica
Wouter Hanegraaff - Dictionary Of Gnosis And Western Esotericism
John White - Toward Homo Noeticus

What Is Geomancy

What Is Geomancy Cover Geomancy, from the eponymous ilm al-raml ("the science of sand"), is a method of divination that interprets markings on the ground, or how handfuls of dirt land when someone tosses them. The Arabic tradition consists of sketching sixteen random lines of dots in sand.

In Africa one traditional form of geomancy consists of throwing handfuls of dirt in the air and observing how the dirt falls. In West Africa, geomancy involves a mouse as the agent of the earth spirit. In China, the diviner may enter a trance and make markings on the ground that are interpreted by an associate (often a young boy).

Geomancy formed part of the required study of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the late 19th century, and also survives in modern occult practice.

Books You Might Enjoy:

Anonymous - Witchcraft A Guide To Magic
Gerald Cremonensis - Astrological Geomancy
Henry Cornelius Agrippa - Of Geomancy
Nick Farrell - Notes On Geomancy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Bhagavad Gita Classics Of Indian Spirituality

The Bhagavad Gita Classics Of Indian Spirituality Cover

Book: The Bhagavad Gita Classics Of Indian Spirituality by Eknath Easwaran

This an especially natural and graceful translation somewhere between poetry and prose by a man who really understands the message of the Gita. This can be seen from reading Eknath Easwaran's wise and penetrating Preface written especially for this, the Vintage Spiritual Classics Edition, edited by John F. Thornton and Susan B. Varenne for Vintage Books.

Easwaran shows that the differing paths to self-realization and liberation that the Gita presents are a comprehensive whole. "The thread through Krishna's teaching, the essence of the Gita, can be given in one word: renunciation. This is the common factor in the four yogas" (p. xxxviii). Easwaran goes on to explain that what is being renounced is not material, although on first blush it seems that way. What is renounced are the fruits of action. Renunciation is not only the essence of karma yoga, but the essence of the bhakti, jnana and raja yogas that Krishna presents as well. The key is an amazing spiritual and psychological insight into human nature: we are miserable when we are concerned with the results of what we do, but we are freed when we devote the fruits of our work to God. What is renounced is also the delusion of a material self that acts, the famous slayer and the slain. Unlike some other, rather foolish, translations that try to find some artificial substitute for the word "yoga," an endeavor entirely alien to the Gita, Easwaran embraces the understanding. He writes, "the Gita is Brahmavidyayam yogashastra, a textbook on the supreme science of yoga" (p. xxxvi)

Prince Arjuna faced a dilemma that many face sooner or later--whether to take action that is necessary yet morally ambiguous. The difference is that Arjuna's action was to wage war against his own family. With the armies arrayed, Arjuna loses his nerve. Krishna, his charioteer and incarnation of divine consciousness, begins to teach him the nature of God and of himself, that Arjuna can attain liberation through union with God, and that there are several available paths. And so the most famous and revered of all Hindu Scriptures goes on to teach the paths of knowledge, devotion, action, and meditation, becoming the seed for all the Hindu systems of philosophy and religion that followed. For all of its profundity, Eknath Easwaran manages to translate the Gita in easy prose that neither panders nor obscures. Coupled with his thorough introduction, Easwaran's version comes off on all the levels it should: as a guide to action, devotional Scripture, a philosophical text, and inspirational reading. So what does Arjuna finally do? He follows his dharma, of course, as we all must.

It is also clear from what Easwaran writes in the Preface that he understands meditation and the path of moksha gained when one is beyond the pair of opposites that dominate our material existence. Easwaran knows because he himself is a long time practitioner of meditation, which is one of the ways of liberation (raja yoga). So many writers on spirituality and on the practice of yoga really do not know meditation, but Easwaran clearly does. Easwaran also understands that the insights of the Gita can be found in other mystical traditions, including those of Meister Eckhart, St. Catherine of Genoa, Ruysbroeck, St. Augustine, St. Francis of Assisi, and others.

Easwaran also makes the important point that the Gita is not the sole property of any one point of view. "The Gita does not present a system of philosophy. It offers something to every seeker after God, of whatever temperament, by whatever path" (p. xxxv).

Easwaran writes, "to understand the Gita, it is important to look beneath the surface of its injunctions and see the mental state involved. Philanthropic activity can benefit others and still carry a large measure of ego involvement. Such work is good, but it is not yoga. It may benefit others, but it will not necessarily benefit the doer" (p. xxxix). This represents a profound insight into the nature of karma yoga, an understanding that comes only after years of study and practice.

Finally Easwaran knows something others don't know (even though this is central to Krishna's teaching), that the Gita, through the practice of yoga, frees one from the fear of death. When one "realizes that he is not a physical creature but the Atman, the Self, and thus not separate from God...he knows that, although his body will die, he will not die...To such a person, the Gita says, death is no more traumatic than taking off an old coat." (pp. xxiv-xxv).

There are ten pages of notes that follow the translation in which the shades of meaning of various concepts like dharma, karma, yoga, sannyasa, etc., and some other ideas are discussed. There is a guide to pronunciation and a glossary of Sanskrit words. This quality paperback is handsomely designed from cover to font, and the translation is one of my favorites.

Each chapter has an introduction to it and there is a glossary of terms in the back. The other translations I think fail also to understand and clearly explain the heart of Krishnia's message which is essentially that one's atman, soul, higher self etc. is one with brahman, the divine, the universe, the source of everything etc and that this liberation can be discovered through the path of yoga. There is not just one path of yoga but many like Karma Yoga(path of selfless service) and Raja Yoga(path of meditation.) The beauty of the Bhagavad Gita is that it explains a way to enter the path to liberation, no matter what stage of spiritual awareness you are it. The Bhagavad Gita manages to explain and apply esoteric and mystical practices to ones everyday life.This is why I think The Bhagavad Gita is the most popular text from India's spiritual texts. Also according to our karma and dharma, we will die and be born again and again until he are liberated. The Bhagavad Gita is a text that I believe should be read by anyone on the "spiritual" path. It is by far one of the greatest "spiritual" text ever written and we are fortunate to share this gift because of Easwaran's brilliant translation.

Find Eknath Easwaran's book in amazon.com:
The Bhagavad Gita Classics Of Indian Spirituality

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shinto Revival

Shinto Revival Cover During the Edo Period (1600~1868) there was a revival of nationalistic sentiments. One result was a resurgent interest in the ancient Shinto beliefs, and the discarding of foreign Influences. During the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the emperor was restored to the head of the government and Shinto was established as the state religion. The emperor was considered the divine descendant of the sun goddess. This direct lineage from the gods was reflected in a feeling of Japanese superiority, which in turn fed the miltary expansion of the Japanese Empire. State Shinto was considered the official belief of the entire Japanese race and was embodied in the huge number of shrines, large and small, throughout the country. The great shrines are Meiji Jingu and Yasukuni Jinja in Tokyo, Ise Jingu in Ise and Izumo Taisha in Matsue. Sectarian Shinto was divided up into many sects, which can be grouped into five main categories, based on: traditional Shinto, Confucianism, faith healing, mountain worship, and purification rites.

The sanshu no jingi, or Imperial Regalia (right) are holy relics which appear in Japan's Ancient Myths. They are the symbols of the legitimacy and authority of the emperor.

In order of importance, they consist of the sacred mirror (yata no kagami, stored at Ise Shrine), the sacred sword (kusanagi no tsurugi, stored at Atsuta Jingu shrine in Nagoya) and the curved jewels (yasakani no magatama, kept at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo). The original sacred sword was lost at the famous Battle of Dannoura in 1185.

According to the myth, the sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami was driven to hide herself in a cave by the boisterous behaviour of her younger brother, Susanoo no Mikoto, god of the oceans. The sacred mirror was used to lure her from her hiding place. When she emerged, the deities of heaven presented her with the sacred jewels. The sword was removed from the tail of a serpent by Susanoo and presented to his sister as a sign of his submission.

Books in PDF format to read:

Jarl Fossum - Seth In The Magical Texts
Aleister Crowley - Hymn To Pan
Anonymous - Divination Spreads
Yogi Ramacharaka - Science Of Breath
Kenneth Grant - Magical Revival

Interpretationes Of Ancient Herbs

Interpretationes Of Ancient Herbs Cover

Book: Interpretationes Of Ancient Herbs by John Opsopaus

Which the Temple Scribes employed, from the Holy Writings, in translation. Because of the Curiosity of the Masses they [i.e., the scribes] inscribed the Names of the Herbs and Other Things which they employed on the Statues of the Gods, so that they [the masses], since they do not take Precaution, might not practice Magic, [being prevented] by the Consequence of their Misunderstanding. But we have collected the explanations from many Copies, all of them Secret.

Download John Opsopaus's eBook: Interpretationes Of Ancient Herbs

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What Is Buddhism

What Is Buddhism Cover Buddhism is a dharmic, non-theistic religion, a philosophy, and a life-enhancing system of psychology. Buddhism is also known in Sanskrit or Pali, the main ancient languages of Buddhists, as Buddha Dharma or Dhamma, which means the teachings of "the Awakened One". Thus was called Siddhartha Guatama, hereinafter referred to as "the Buddha". Early sources say that the Buddha was born in Lumbini (now in Nepal), and that he died aged around 80 in Kushinagara (India). He lived in or around the fifth century BCE, according to recent scholarship. Buddhism spread throughout the Indian subcontinent in the five centuries following the Buddha's passing, and thence into Central, Southeast and East Asia and Eastern Europe over the next two millennia.

Buddhism continues to attract followers worldwide and is considered a major world religion. According to one source, "World estimates for Buddhists vary between 230 and 500 million, with most around 350 million." However, estimates are uncertain for several countries. According to one analysis, Buddhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world behind Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and traditional Chinese religion. The monks' order (Sangha), which began during the lifetime of the Buddha in India, is amongst the oldest organizations on earth.

In Buddhism, any person who has awakened from the "sleep of ignorance" by directly realizing the true nature of reality is called a buddha. Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, is thus only one among other buddhas before or after him. His teachings are oriented toward the attainment of this kind of awakening, also called with various nuances enlightenment, Bodhi, liberation, or Nirvana.

Part of the Buddha's teachings regarding the holy life and the goal of liberation is constituted by the "The Four Noble Truths" about dukkha, a term that refers to suffering or the sorrow of life. The Four Noble Truths about suffering state what are its nature, its cause, its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation. This way to the cessation of suffering is called "The Noble Eightfold Path", which is one of the fundamentals of Buddhist virtuous or moral life.



Books You Might Enjoy:

Harum Yahya - Prophet Solomon Pbuh
Ea Wallis Budge - The Book Of Am Tuat
Albert Pike - Morals And Dogma
Ea Wallis Budge - Legends Of The Gods

What Is Apocrypha

What Is Apocrypha Cover Apocrypha are Texts of uncertain authenticity or writings where the authorship is questioned.

The word "apocryphal" was first applied, in a positive sense, to writings which were kept secret because they were the vehicles of esoteric knowledge considered too profound or too sacred to be disclosed to anyone other than the initiated.

In Judeo-Christian theology, the term apocrypha refers to any collection of scriptural texts that falls outside the canon. Given that different denominations have different ideas about what constitutes canonical scripture, there are several different versions of the apocrypha.

Books You Might Enjoy:

Aristotle - Metaphysics
Michael Prescott - Darklore
Thomas Voxfire - What Was Aleister Crowley
Thomas Potts - Discovery Of Witches
Arthur Edward Waite - What Is Alchemy

The New Popularity Of Astrology

The New Popularity Of Astrology Cover Astrology has been a part of everyday life in America for some time, but not always so. The popularity of astrology has ebbed and waned for the last several thousand years in the Western world. Only in the last hundred years has astrology actually become popular once again in the Western world. On the other hand, has only been in the last twenty years that serious study of astrology has emerged in America.
Astrology actually made its debut in the Western world, thousands of years in Mesopotamia. The art of astrology came to Greece around 600 BC. The practice further spread throughout the Roman world, then abruptly disappeared.
With aging European "enlightenment", also known as the Renaissance, astrology once more made an appearance in the Western world. The study of astrology and its use in everyday life became commonplace. However, early Christianity and religious leaders took place in astrology once more.
Astrology did not reappear on the scene until the late eighteen hundreds. During this time, two prominent astrologers came forward and began to publish information about their art. This practice came to America in early twentieth century, and then continued to spread.
In late 1930, the study of astrology became even more common in the United States with the publication of American Astrology, a magazine which offered the first detailed horoscopes. While the magazine itself did not remain in print for a long time, the study of astrology and American interests in art continued to flourish for some time. Horoscopes have appeared in major newspapers and later other print media since then.
However, the true art of astrology and the serious study of the stars were once again lost. In the sixties and seventies, serious astrologers once again came to light, and more people began taking the study of astrology seriously. This was the beginning of what is known as the New Age movement.
Over recent decades, the New Age movement has continued to evolve. The study of occult religions such as wicca continues to encourage the exploration and use of astrology in the United States. Today, astrology is a very controversial topic in America for some and a way of life for others.
The popularity of astrology has grown significantly over the past twenty years. More and more people have turned to Wicca and the occult for answers that they feel have not been found in Christianity. In these religions people feel that they have more control over their lives. Astrology is a part or control. Used to plan ahead and make decisions in the present.
Books on the subject have also become common in the United States during the past twenty years. Books no longer cover simple horoscopes and zodiac signs. Books on astrology that actually teach the art of divination and astrology charts have become very common and popular. While some Christian groups still rile against the art, astrology is alive and well in America today

Books You Might Enjoy:

William Phelon - Our Story Of Atlantis
Henry Cornelius Agrippa - Of Geomancy
Sepharial - Astrology And Marriage

The Meaning Of Pagan Religion

The Meaning Of Pagan Religion Cover Paganism is a collection of varied earth-based religions based on timeless values such as belief, responsibility, respect, freedom, honesty, courage, will power and justice. This way of life was practiced as early as the Neolithic times. The general consensus about the word "Pagan" is that it means "rustic" or "rural" religion which implies that is nature based and is usually practiced by people who live in villages or towns that are unadulterated, maybe even isolated. There are many types of pagan religions. Followers of wicca and other neopagan practices call themselves Pagan to define their spiritual paths. These pagan practitioners have their own deities, symbols, spiritual ceremonies and festivals including rituals borrowed from ancient ways of life. Wicca is based on the pre-Celtic era European paganism and is Earth centered while Druidic religions are based on the ancient Celtic "professional" culture. Asatru is another pagan path which follows the ancient, pre Christian Norse religion. Christianity tried its best to connect paganism with Satan, a Christian symbol of evil. However, after the initial conversions and tithing practices, people realized that they were just being fleeced by the monolithic churches who are trying to take their money. Many people are moving towards pagan religions now.

Wicca is the fastest growing religion in the USA. The proportion of Americans who classify themselves as Christian has declined from 86% in 1990 to 77% in 2001. Large numbers of American adults are disaffiliating themselves from organized religions including Christianity. Pagan religions have always suffered at the hands of ignorant people who considered it a threat to their coffers. Although the term "pagan" refers to polytheistic religions where more one God is worshipped, any sane (aware) human being can understand the all of these energies who are worshipped are from the same source. Some people believe that the word "pagan" describes a person who follows a non-Abrahamic religion; Christian, Muslim, Bahai or Jewish". This means 45% of the world's residents including Hindus, Humanists, Agnostics, Atheists, Buddhists, Taoists, etc are pagans. Another way of looking at pagan religions is by their approach to the entity called God. A monotheistic religion has only one God. A polytheistic religion such as Hinduism has multiple Goddesses and Gods, all of whom are considered to be from the ONE source. However, for the purpose of worship, individual Gods are called upon for each task. Most Hindus know that all the Gods are from the ONE source.

Books You Might Enjoy:

Max Heindel - Teachings Of An Initiate
Israel Regardie - The Art And Meaning Of Magic
Andrew Lang - Myth Ritual And Religion