Sunday, 3 April 2016

Servants of the Grail book review

Video of Philip Coppens speaking about the creation of sacred space
Circle Network book review: Servants of the Grail - The real- life characters of the Grail legend identified by Philip Coppens, published by O Books. Paperback 325 pages £11.95. Author website:
The legend of the Holy Grail rose to prominence at the very end of the 12th century but the origins of the story are far older than when Wolfram von Eschenbach was first inspired by the Arabic story. The author traces this mystical story through many countries, the Middle East, Germany, Wales, Ireland, Spain, France, England, Egypt and Greece, to name a few! Was it a cup, as the Vatican suggests, or was it a stone, a person, a code, an initiation, a secret knowledge, a cult, a doctrine or a Brotherhood. Original texts are examined and many aspects are researched, the Kabbalah, Cathars, astrology, Hermetic doctrine, numerology, the bardic tradition, spiritual quest, paganism, the Madonna and cathedral building.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Book Review of Hunting the Nazarene by John Koerner

Circle Network Book Review and other thoughts! Hunting the Nazarene - The Second Resurrection of Christ by John Koerner, published by Chronos Books, paperback 106 pages £8.99

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. The author is well qualified to write a fascinating and deeply researched examination of the controversial 21st chapter of John's gospel in detail. The Gospel of John, and this last chapter, has had a great deal of exegesis over the years and this is the first time, to my knowledge, that anyone has suggested that Jesus died a second time and was resurrected also for a second time in the days following his well recorded death and resurrection. Historians have questioned this chapter as possibly being added to the completed gospel.

Zombie Tarot

Zombie Tarot – Mystical Prediction Oracle is also known as ‘Your Weapon of Choice’ and ‘An Oracle of the Undead’. This is a novelty card deck published by Quirk Books. It consists of 78 cards illustrated by Paul Kepple (author of The Housewives’ Tarot) and Ralph Geroni of Headcase Designs and a 96 page instruction booklet offering three key words and a brief explanation of the energy by Stacey Graham (author of The Girl’s Ghost Hunting Guide). 
These are boxed in a deluxe carton, suitable for keeping silver bullets or cremation ashes!
I overcame immense reluctance to work with this deck and having placed my prejudices to one side, I studied the collages which are created from 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s American newspapers. I soon began to enjoy the gruesome elements of this deck. The card backs are black with the blackened image of a zombie in a sultan’s hat adorned with a jewelled brooch and feather. Wands are represented by limbs, pentacles by bio-hazard symbols, cups by skulls and swords by hatchets. Suggested are five spreads, for ‘the Beginner’, ‘The Broken Heart’, ‘The Gravestone’, ‘The Eyeball’ and ‘the Severed Head’.

Camilla Damkjaer - Homemade Academic Circus

Homemade Academic Circus - Idiosyncratically Embodied Explorations into Research in the Arts and Circus by Camilla Damkjaer PhD, paperback 224 pages £12.99, Kindle: £8.39 published by Iff Books. 

This a cause celebre for I assume, the throw and catch of the trapeze, the precariousness of the hire wire, the impressive strength and flexibility of the acrobat and some clever plate spinning. Perhaps the most important and the most ancient aspect of the circus is the light-hearted energy of the clown, perhaps included by the author as one of her alter-egos. There are no certificates required to demonstrate a highly complex skill but the circus is as mystifying as it is breath-taking, and acts that look easy may require many years of patient and immensely hard work.