Needed: Recommendations for Spell Books and Other Things

Looking for spellbooks, mythology (from anywhere, as long as it is as accurate to the culture in question as possible) books, reference books, history books (preferably ones that roughly pertain to mythology and religions of the time), herbology books (especially pacific northwest or BC specifically, can be well done magic ones or just botanical), and fairy tale and folklore books. Also interested in spiritual or philosophical texts (primary or textbooks).

I’m also always open to literature suggestions (steep me in allusions!) and to high fantasy and stuff, but spellbooks, lore books, and history, in that order, are my main priorities.

My collection of relevant items includes: Judika Ilkes’ 5000 Spells, Cunningham’s Encuclopedia of Herbs, Beyerl’s Master Book of Herbalism and a few stray herbal references. I also have the Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols and of Magical Creatures. I have Orientalism (Said) on the history/philosophy side.

I especially am looking for decent spell books and non-secular ‘practice’ books (eg working on meditation, household charms, etc), so if all that extra detail was boring, just go with those.

Drop in Activity on Pagan Websites?

Has anyone else noticed a massive slowing down of traffic on Pagan-related websites? I really miss Bewitching Ways and the old Covenspace. When my husband and I met on WitchVox in 2004 the sheer volume and quick-pace of resources being added was nearly overwhelming. There were pages upon pages of Pagan personal ads for my area alone. There were several metaphysical shops in my area. Now I have one. Covenspace was a wonderful alternative to Facebook and I made a lot of great friends and connections there. Paganspace is a little more difficult to navigate and I’m having trouble making connections as easily. Even the “New Age/Occult” section of my local bookstores has shrunk dramatically over the past decade. Is this a regional observation, or did the Craft reach its zenith in the 90s and early 2000s and is waning, or have we backed away from the public eye and become more guarded?

Any thoughts or perspectives on this?

Chaos Magic

Hey all. I’m fairly new, trying to find my place here. But I am very excited about Chaos Magick.

I was curious if anyone had some good books on it. After some research it seems that it has gone through some…stages. Carroll or Spare or… well I don’t know. I’ve read Phil Hine’s Condensed Chaos pdf and it helped quite a bit.

It’s a topic with an inherent desperate approach that I’m finding it a bewildering to get traction. I know it’s all individual and that’s the core of it. I guess I’m looking for some perspective and direction.

What are your thoughts or suggestions?

Social Justice Bullies: The Authoritarianism of Millennial Social Justice

Whether or not you agree with this author’s opinion (completely or partially), I think this article should be read by everyone remotely interested in social justice today.

Social Justice Bullies: The Authoritarianism of Millennial Social Justice

This article puts most of my feelings about what I often see being done in the name of social justice online into words — words I had not thought of. Most of you know that I abhor and oppose political Authoritarianism and I do so no matter what the political color of that Authoritarianism is (left, center, right, other). In my humble opinion, the author is correct at least about Social Justice as it is most often handled online: it has become authoritarian.

Storing Divination Tools

I know this subject has come up before, but I’m curious about what people think about storing their divination tools.

Do you wrap your decks in silk? Something else?

Does it depend on what kind of deck (tarot, oracle, Lenormand, etc.)?

How do you feel about the the plastic boxes many decks come in now?

What about other tools, like pendulums, runes, ogham staves, etc.?

Why do you adhere to specific storage methods, or why don’t you?

Chanting Prayers on the Subway

[If I’ve been scarcer around the Cauldron the last few days, it will get even worse over the next 6 weeks. The spring songbird migration–my holy month of Ramadan, of sorts–has reached NYC, and morning hours devoted to scouring Central Park and the accompanying super-early wake-up times will likely preclude my active participation here for a while. Those super-early wake-ups are why I was able to witness the following, and why I ask the following question:]

Pre-dawn NYC subway car, populated by the usual working-class Jills and Joes of that ungodly hour, on their way to or from nursing jobs, construction sites, etc. The withdrawn silence of semi-sleep always prevails…

…except today. A guy starts chanting his religious prayer non-stop in a foreign tongue, clearly audible to everyone else. After 5 minutes, someone shouts for him to “Shut the f*ck up!” The guy next to him finds another seat at the first opportunity. The praying guy just keeps going. Is his behavior–

1) Annoying. He’s disturbing everyone around him and violating the unspoken rules of the subway at that hour.

2) Tacky. One’s private, personal religious devotions shouldn’t be paraded in a public space, let alone one where everyone else is held hostage to it.

3) Unusual but acceptable. After all, buskers, panhandlers, and proselytizers routinely use the subway as a soapbox, and everyone tolerates them; why should religious practice be any different?

Choose.

Seeing Signs: Are We Narcissists?

First of all, read this entire movie review (of–wait for it!–Christian Mingle: The Movie), just because it’s so damn funny.

Second, this part of the review struck me:

God, represented by a celestial ray of sunshine (of course), beams through Gwyneth’s window to wake her. “Leave me alone!” she shouts at the Heavens, drawing the curtains. Which “God” blows open again with a sound effect-aided gust of wind. “Ugh, you are so obvious!” Gwyneth says.

I guess it’s supposed to represent Gwyneth wrestling with her faith, but all I could think of was what a nightmare person someone who thought everything in life, down to the smallest ray of sunshine or gust of breeze was God trying to speak directly to them. That news report about a genocide in Uganda was probably just God’s way of telling me not to eat the rest of this quesadilla!

Many of us here, myself included (in my half-assed attempts at augury), see signs in otherwise ordinary occurrences. Is this inherently narcissistic? Is the possible narcissism involved determined by how often we see these things as personal messages to us, or how deeply we are certain that it’s a message?

Is there a way to perceive signs that *isn’t* narcissistic?

Sokek, Horus the Elder, and Kom Ombo

To get right to the point, I’m considering a kind of ‘local worship’ of the deities at Kom Ombo. I’ve been Google-fuing as best as I can, and I found some interesting information in Richard Wilkinson’s “The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt”, but I haven’t found anything on holidays- or other special days, for that matter. I’m also interested in the ‘local mythology’, if they had any.

So. I’m wondering if anyone knows anything about Kom Ombo, or where I could look to find the information?

Oh! And, of course, information on Horus the Elder and/or Sobek would be highly helpful.