In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large. In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as a remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, "Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we're believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves." But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature--our compassion, our thirst for justice--but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments. More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will challenge the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives. Praise for God "Timely, riveting, enlightening and necessary."--HuffPost "Tantalizing . . . Driven by Reza] Aslan's grace and curiosity, God . . . helps us pan out from our troubled times, while asking us to consider a more expansive view of the divine in contemporary life."--The Seattle Times "A fascinating exploration of the interaction of our humanity and God."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette " Aslan's] slim, yet ambitious book is] the story of how humans have created God with a capital G, and it's thoroughly mind-blowing."--Los Angeles Review of Books "Aslan is a born storyteller, and there is much to enjoy in this intelligent survey."--San Francisco Chronicle
With a new postscript
In these times of rising geopolitical chaos, the need for mutual understanding between cultures has never been more urgent. Religious differences are seen as fuel for violence and warfare. In these pages, one of our greatest writers on religion, Karen Armstrong, amasses a sweeping history of humankind to explore the perceived connection between war and the world's great creeds--and to issue a passionate defense of the peaceful nature of faith.
With unprecedented scope, Armstrong looks at the whole history of each tradition--not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism. Religions, in their earliest days, endowed every aspect of life with meaning, and warfare became bound up with observances of the sacred. Modernity has ushered in an epoch of spectacular violence, although, as Armstrong shows, little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions came to absorb modern belligerence--and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different faiths in our time.
A remarkable work of reportage by Nobel Prize Laureate V. S. Naipaul that surveys belief and religion among the disparate peoples of Africa.Like all of Naipaul's "travel" books, The Masque of Africa encompasses a much larger narrative and purpose: to judge the effects of belief (in indigenous animisms, the foreign religions of Christianity and Islam, the cults of leaders and mythical history) upon the progress of civilization. It is a masterly achievement by one of the world's keenest observers and one of its greatest writers.
There is no them -- there is only us, celebrating our common humanity
Whatever your spiritual path, chances are that the primary tenets of your faith include universal love, acceptance, and compassion. Yet three thousand years after Moses, twenty-five hundred years after the Buddha, two thousand years after Jesus, and fifteen hundred years after Muhammad, we are still divided by our differences. Religious intolerance, discrimination, even persecution and violence make up the not-so-golden rule.
The Interfaith Alternative shows us how we can celebrate each other without fear of losing our own identity. It illuminates the path to creating a nurturing spiritual community that honors and includes all religious languages--an alternative to Jews worshiping only with Jews, Christians with Christians, and Muslims with Muslims. In doing so, it demonstrates that through coming together in a mutually supportive environment we can concentrate on our shared desire to remake the world into a compassionate, loving place.
At its core, Interfaith is about community and justice. Once we truly embrace diversity, we embrace our common humanity. A powerful antidote to the current climate of fear and mistrust, The Interfaith Alternative argues that it is not how we encounter the sacred, but what we do about it that counts--there are positive alternatives to religious lines in the sand.
Steven Greenebaum is an Interfaith minister whose experiences directing choirs of different faiths and denominations have helped him to understand the profound wisdom of many spiritual traditions. Steven has dedicated his life to working for social and environmental justice. He is the founder of the Living Interfaith Church in Lynnwood, Washington.
Italian Witchcraft (previously titled Ways of the Strega) by respected author Raven Grimassi is more than just a book about Witchcraft. It is a complete Book of Shadows. In it you will find the history of this ancient tradition, its legends and myths, as well as the rituals and rites that you can do today. You can be a Strega
The book includes a full set of rituals that you can do. You'll find rituals for all of the Italian Witchcraft holidays including Shadow Fest, Lupercus, Tana's Day and more. You'll also find rituals for the Full Moon, births, funerals.
There is a practical side to this book, too. It is filled with instructions so that you can cast spells and work with the powers of incense, oils, herbs, and candles. You'll learn to work with the magick of the Moon and Stars. You'll be able to do protection rituals and learn how to cure someone who has received the "Malocchio" (Evil Eye).
Many of the mysteries revealed here have never been published before. You'll learn secret gestures of power and secret symbols. And you can use them all Also revealed are the secrets of the tools of the Italian Witch. You'll learn how to prepare the "Spirit Blade" and the ritual wand. You'll learn how to make the Spirit Bowl and use to consecrate other tools and talismans.
If you're looking to discover real Witchcraft, or if you're already a Witch but are thinking about other traditions, this is the book for you.
The Powers of Night
Nocturnal Energies differ from those of Daylight and Witches have long known how to take advantage of Lunar Powers and the spiritual entities that prefer the darkness for particular magical operations.
This innovative book explores special techniques for working with the Night Powers and the subtle effects of dark symbols to:
- Cast a Nocturnal Magick Circle
- Invoke the Dark Gods and Goddesses
- Skry the Night
- Open the Gates to the Underworld
- Cast Spells through the Dark Ether
- Explore the symbolic realm of shadow, illusion, and the mysteries of the Unknown
You will learn to find your Inner Quiet, Read Minds through the Ether, Dream for Change, Create and Use Thought Forms, Alter Reality through simple Spells and Rites, and use the powers of Magnetism and Suggestion. And you will Explore the Mysteries of Death and to Speak with the Dead.
The Dark balances the Light. Do not fear it but equally embrace it.
Celebrate the changing of the seasons and the beauty and power of the Moon, the Stars, and the Sun. Written by a Witch who has spent many years teaching the Craft of Wicca to newcomers, this introductory guide presents everything you need to know for successful witchery, including:
- An essential set of instructions and guidelines for beginning the practice of the Ancient arts
- An overview of Wiccan beliefs, laws, rules, and principles
- Directions for creating and using basic tools of the Craft--athame, wand, cup, pentacle, cauldron, broom, black mirror, and meditation
- Easy-to-follow instructions for altar setup, circle-casting, building power, Deity invocation, and more
- An assortment of miscellaneous spells, chants, and invocations for a variety of purposes
Walk the path of the Witch-live in harmony and balance, and discover the sacred within the natural world with The Craft.
Are you ready to open yourself to the divine powers in order to bring beauty into your life, happiness to your heart, and strength to your will? Then you'll want to get Witchcraft: Theory and Practice by Ly de Angeles. With more than three decades of experience she has learned how to bring the teachings alive, combining modern with ancient, so you can better understand the true potential and depth of Witchcraft.
Within the pages of this book you will find the secrets and techniques to become a Witch. These can be divided into three categories: philosophical disciplines, spiritual beliefs, and practical techniques. Each part gets a focus in this book.
In the first section, you will:
- Learn meditation and how it can be used for ritual
- Discover the secrets of visualization, telepathy, and personal power
- Use the self-analysis techniques to discover who you are and never walk in anyone's shadow
In the second section you can:
- Uncover the essence of the God and Goddess
- Discover the festivals of Witchcraft
- Learn how to make and use the tools of Witchcraft
- Understand how to do rituals, including the rite of self-initiation
And in the final section, you'll:
- Practice psychic protection, shapeshifting, and banishing
- Master astral projection
- Learn to interpret omens
This really just barely covers some of the information you will find revealed in these pages. Written in a style that is clear and concise, this book will add to your knowledge of Witchcraft. Whether you are new to the Craft or have been practicing for some time, Witchcraft: Theory and Practice will impart wisdom that will fascinate and entice. You will be using this book for many years to come.
A collection of Jewish and Arabian tales published together in one volume serves, says its author, as a "metaphor for the coexistence of Arabs and Jews." Dr. Blanche L. Serwer-Bernstein, a psychotherapist and former professor at Boston University, has selected forty Arabian and Jewish folktales that capture the imagination and represent the experiences and wisdom of the cultures out of which they have emerged.
The two sets of stories in this book are different in many ways. The customs, humor, and countless details differ from one people to the next. Yet Jews and Arabs, whose imagination and creativity gave birth to these tales, share not only biblical roots but also a remarkable coexistence in Spain during a golden period from 700 to 1000 C.E.
This collection is the result of extensive research at the Israel Folklore Archives and in libraries in Jerusalem and Haifa, as well as the New York Public Library and the library of Harvard University. Of the forty tales in this volume, twenty-two are Jewish tales and were taken from literary and oral sources. They include stories of witches and demons, tales of Chelm - legendary city of fools - and folktales told by post-World War II immigrants to Israel from Russia, Iraq, Kurdistan, Poland, Hungary, and elsewhere. The Arabian tales come from many corners of the Arab world and include tales about changes in men, tales of humor and entertainment, and stories that the author describes as reflecting a kaleidoscope of human characteristics.
A volume that is educational, entertaining, and inspirational, In the Tradition of Moses and Mohammed is also a prayer, urging us to hope that one day Arab and Jew will live together as peacefully as these tales do.
Llewellyn is pleased to bring back into print the book many consider to be the authentic holy book of Wicca, the first Book of Shadows ever published in the United States--Lady Sheba's Book of Shadows.
For generations, secret Craft teachings had been handed down by word of mouth to new initiates. When Lady Sheba was initiated into her first coven, she hand copied The Book of Shadows. It was her wish that publication would bring to light the authentic beliefs of Witchcraft and reestablish the respectability of this ancient art.
The Book of Shadows includes:
- Secret initiation rites
- Laws of the Craft (162 total)
- Eight ceremonies for the Sabbats
- Consecration rituals
- Actual chants and dances for calling on the gods
Lady Sheba was one of the first people in the United States to officially establish the Craft as a legally recognized religion. She registered "The American Order of the Brotherhood of Wicca" as an religious organization in Michigan on August 13, 1971. She stated that she was a witch "by traditional heritage" and a "Gardnerian Witch by choice."