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Book Review: The Book of English Magic by Philip Carr-Gomm & Richard Heygate

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Paganism, ReviewsNo Comments
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The Book of English Magic by Philip Carr-Gomm & Richard Heygate is a fascinating and comprehensive guide to English Magic, from the cave paintings of ancient man 12,000 years ago up until today.

Each chapter contains text, photos and diagrams and sections such as: Read about this Period in Fiction, Biographies of Key People, Activities (such as Hunting for Ley Lines), Stories/Experiences of People, Things To Do (including sites to visit) and a List of Resources.

In addition each chapter is extensively referenced, with a complete reference list in an Appendix at the end.

History is a topic that interests me, but even if it doesn’t interest you much, Carr-Gomm & Heygate’s passion for the topic comes through in what is a very engaging writer’s voice. Despite the book being over 500 pages long, I read it on an on and off basis, finishing it in about a month.

Some of the History of Magic is London-centric, but that’s not surprising considering historically and even today a lot of what happens is London-centric in England.

Pagans will find this brilliant book captivating and learn something new (no matter how long you’ve been a practicing pagan). This book goes into great detail about a wide range of topics including: Ley Lines, Dowsing, Druidry, Shamanism, Charms & Spells, Runes, Alchemy, Astrology, Astrological Magic, Spirits, Cunning-Folk, Herbal Remedies, Numerology, Spirit Communication, Tarot, Chaos Magic and Divination.

I would highly recommend The Book of English Magic by Philip Carr-Gomm & Richard Heygate to all. It is available to buy on Amazon and at all good book shops.

Review soon,

Antony



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Having problems with Communication or Money right now? Mercury Retrograde might be to blame

By Life, Money / Finances, Paganism, ThinkingNo Comments
mercury-planet-NASA

Photo of the planet Mercury, Image From & Copyright © NASA, 2011.

Having problems with Communication or Money right now? Mercury Retrograde might be to blame.

In astrology, Mercury Retrograde is when Mercury appears to travel backwards through the twelve signs of the zodiac. Mercury is travelling so slow, it looks like it is travelling backwards, but this is merely an optical illusion. This is called a retrograde motion.

As the planet Mercury is associated with communication, money, travel, technology, logic, writing and memory, all these things are adversely affected during a Mercury Retrograde.

When is Mercury Retrograde? Here are the dates for the next few years:

2017 2018 2019 2020
  • 1st to 9th January.
  • 9th April to 3rd May.
  • 13th August to 5th September.
  • 3rd to 23rd December.
  • 22nd March to 15th April.
  • 26th July to 18th August.
  • 16th November to 6th December.
  • 5th to 28th March.
  • 7th to 31st July.
  • 31st October to 20th November.
  • 18th February to 9th March.
  • 17th June to 12th July.
  • 13th October to 3rd November.
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
According to Astrology Zone.

What should you do during Mercury Retrograde? Here’s some great advice for during Mercury Retrograde:

So, when Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.

About a week or two before Mercury retrogrades, finish any tasks or projects at hand. You can’t stop your life, but plan ahead, have back-up plans, and be prepared for angrier people and miscommunication.

Some people blame Mercury retrograde for “bad” things that happen in their lives. Instead, take this time to sit back and review where you put your energy in your life.

(From: The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Last accessed: Thursday 13th April 2017.)

If you’d like a good guide to astrology, The Astrology Bible by Judy Hall is great resource.

Blog soon,

Antony



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My India Adventure (Part 2) – The Wedding

By Adventures, Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, Inspiration, Love & Relationships, TravelNo Comments
india2015-wedding-0

Robert & Neha’s Wedding 🙂

Robert and Neha got married on Saturday 25th July 2015. The day before the wedding we’d had henna done followed by great family meal at Neha’s parents apartment.

In this post I shall only write about the Wedding, aka main event and not any pre-marriage customs, rituals or traditions. I will write what I witnessed and my interpretation as a someone who has never attended a Hindu wedding and who doesn’t speak Hindi. So please forgive any misinterpretations or misunderstandings.

The invite had said an 8pm start. But when Robert, Michael and I hadn’t been picked up from the Guest House at 8pm Robert was understandably anxious. He was dressed in his fabulous outfit (see photos below) pacing back and forth.

I explained to Robert the concept of Indian time. Indian time means that for social events Indians are loose with their time keeping, so always arrive after the official start time. I explained to Robert that his and Neha’s Wedding invite had said it was due to start at 8pm, so most of the guests would probably arrive for 9:30-10pm.

But by the time 10pm had come and gone, even I was starting to get worried. Luckily, shortly afterwards one of Neha’s brother-in-law’s turned up. The brother-in-law explained that Hindu’s only get married on certain dates dictated by astrology.

Indian weddings the brother-in-law explained are big affairs, with around 300 guests on each side. Therefore Delhi’s already congested roads were practically grid locked with everyone trying to get to Hindu weddings at the same time. He added that a rain shower had also delayed the start of the wedding as the Hindu ceremony involves a fire outside.

After a short car journey, we arrived at the wedding venue the Marigold Banquet Hall. We were met by a camera man and photographer, who would continue to take video footage and photos throughout the night. Robert with Michael, myself and some of Neha’s borrowed family members behind him were welcomed at the threshold of the Banquet Hall by Neha’s mother and father.

Once over the threshold Robert, Michael and I were directed to a stage. Then Robert received greetings into the family, introduction to family members and envelopes with money in – which apparently is the traditional Hindu wedding gift. While all this is going on Robert was waiting for his bride.

Neha walked into the room and all eyes turned to her. She lit up the room, which you’d have thought impossible to do at a colourful Indian wedding. She looked stunning and incredibly beautiful (see photos below). As she walked towards the stage, music playing in the background, I thought: Robert is a very lucky man.

Once Neha reached the stage, Robert greeted her. They posed for many, many photos. They were photographed together and then with immediate and extended family members. While this was going on, food was available for extended family to get as they wanted. Then there was some dancing. Indian’s know how to party and without the aid of alcohol.

Then the immediate and close family came together around a big centre table for a family meal. The food was truly scrumptious food. The company was great, I met many fascinating family members.

By this point I’d realised two things. Firstly that I get a little anxiety about meeting and interacting with large groups of new people. Hence the cigarette breaks. Secondly that my shoes were more about show and style than comfort. The shoes were already doing a great job of shredding my feet.

Here are some photos from this part of the wedding:

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Robert in his Wedding outfit.

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Me in my Wedding outfit.

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Robert and Michael (his father) at the Banquet Hall.

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Robert & Neha posing for many wedding photos (1).

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Robert & Neha posing for many wedding photos (2).

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Robert & Neha posing for many wedding photos (3).

After food was a traditional Hindu marriage ceremony, which took place outside. Neha had been up at 4am that day, gone to a local template and undertaken some pre-marriage rituals. The ceremony started with the Archaka and Neha’s parents. Then Robert joined them and after a short time Neha joined the trio. I didn’t take any photos of the ceremony, as I would have felt rude to do.

I felt honoured and privileged to be invited to share Robert & Neha’s special evening and for being allowed to witness the beautiful Hindu marriage ceremony. I can’t thank them enough for their friendship and love. It is something I hugely appreciate.

The ceremony was completely in Hindi and Neha’s sisters kindly took it in turns to translate for Robert. The ceremony was approximately an hour and a half (which had been shortened) with family members, Michael and I sitting to watch. During the ceremony Robert made seven vows to Neha, which were:

The Seven Vows made by Indian Grooms to Their Wives

1. In the first vow, the groom makes a vow to his bride that he will, for his part, provide the money and means to run a happy household and family. He also promises to avoid any of the things that were likely to harm his wife and family.

2. The second vow that the groom makes to his bride is to remain committed to her forever. He promises he will love her forever and provide courage and strength.

3. The groom then makes the third vow to his prospective wife, and in this vow he prays to God and asks that the be blessed with prosperity, wealth and the ability and means to take care of their children, educate them and look after all their needs.

4. The fourth vow has the groom thanking his bride. He thanks her for bringing love, happiness, auspiciousness and sacredness in his life. He thanks for all the good things she brings to his life.

5. The couple then prays together in the fifth vow. They pray to Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, to grant them with prosperity and her blessings for the rest of their lives.

6. The groom makes the sixth vow to his wife, and promises that he will keep her happy forever. He also tells her that he promises to make her joyful and provide her with peace time and time again.

7. Finally, only the seventh vow remains, and the groom now tells the wife that with this last vow and walk around the fire, our relationship is firm and we’re inseparable. He also tells his wife that now you are mine forever and I am yours and may we live happily together.

(From: BollywoodShaddis.com, Last Accessed: Friday 7th August 2015)

The ceremony ended with Neha’s head dress tied to a scarf given to Robert. Probably symbolising this last promise, being inseparable forever.

The ceremony ended in the early hours on the morning, by this point I was exhausted. While we waited for taxis to the final event of the evening Neha’s father explained that Hindu’s worship the sun. That fire is the purest of all the elements as it has the ability to give life through growing of crops, but also the ability to destroy life too. I didn’t realise this at the time, but the sun would become a permanent symbol of my adventure in India.

The final event was at Neha’s parent’s apartment. The women of the family blessed the couple, some gave more envelopes with gifts of money and then waved them off. Here’s some photos of the wave off:

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Neha’s parents apartment lit up to celebrate the marriage.

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Close female relatives wishing the couple well as they leave Neha’s parents home.

Neha, Robert, Michael and I then headed home to the Guest House where I slept exceptionally well.

The Wedding was an exceptionally good time. Everything was about love, kindness and hope for the future. Which is exactly what a wedding should be about. I wish them many happy and healthy years together.

I have deliberately excluded photos of the family and extended family in this blog post, as I haven’t asked their permission to post the photos of them here.

In the next blog post of the series titled My India Adventure (Part 3) – Shopping, it will be all about how I got on shopping in Delhi. Keep checking back for updates as it will be published soon.

Write soon,

Antony



I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:


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Last Assignment of Degree Submitted!

By Education2 Comments

Well today I’ve finally submitted my last assignment for my Degree. All being well, that’s one of My Current Goals achieved. I’m so relieved and satisfied with myself. I’ve enjoyed it, but am ready for a year off before I look at starting a Masters in Public Health.

I’m now looking forward to the Summer of Love. I know nothing about astrology or where Venus is but I’ve decided that this will be the Summer of Love. If your’re single your going to meet someone lovely, and if your’re in a relationship you’ll be brought closer to your partner.

I can’t wait to relive my teen years for one night when I go watching Steps in April. So I’ll leave you with a video from them:

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Write soon,

Antony

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