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Pagan Christmas: The Plants, Spirits, Rituals at the Origins of Yuletide (New)

by Ratsch, Christian

Publisher: Inner Traditions / Bear & Company

Binding: Paperback

Book ID: 9781594770920, 1594770921


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The day on which many commemorate the birth of Christ has its origins in pagan rituals that center on tree worship, agriculture, magic, and social exchange. But Christmas is no ordinary folk observance. It is an evolving feast that over the centuries has absorbed elements from cultures all over the world--practices that give plants and plant spirits pride of place. In fact, the symbolic use of plants at Christmas effectively transforms the modern-day living room into a place of shamanic ritual.

Christian Rätsch and Claudia Müller-Ebeling show how the ancient meaning of the botanical elements of Christmas provides a unique view of the religion that existed in Europe before the introduction of Christianity. The fir tree was originally revered as the sacred World Tree in northern Europe. When the church was unable to drive the tree cult out of people’s consciousness, it incorporated the fir tree by dedicating it to the Christ child. Father Christmas in his red-and-white suit, who flies through the sky in a sleigh drawn by reindeer, has his mythological roots in the shamanic reindeer-herding tribes of arctic Europe and Siberia. These northern shamans used the hallucinogenic fly agaric mushroom, which is red and white, to make their soul flights to the other world. Apples, which figure heavily in Christmas baking, are symbols of the sun god Apollo, so they find a natural place at winter solstice celebrations of the return of the sun. In fact, the authors contend that the emphasis of Christmas on green plants and the promise of the return of life in the dead of winter is just an adaptation of the pagan winter solstice celebration.

Tarot of Marseilles - Conver 1760 Restored (Standard Deck) Tarot of Marseilles - Conver 1760 Restored (Standard Deck)
Jodorowsky & Camoin

Based on years of research with the goal of creating the definitive Tarot de Marseille, this deck is a labor of love that possesses fine details and the passionate workmanship of Phillipe Camoin -- last heir to the centuries-old legacy of Marseillan cardmakers -- and acclaimed artist and tarotist Alejandro Jodorowsky. Influenced most heavily by the deck of Nicolas Conver first printed in 1760, this premium deck is a treasure for readers and collectors.

Keeper of the Tarot of Marseilles Tradi...

Price: $39.95

The Sworn Book of Honorius: Liber Iuratus Honorii The Sworn Book of Honorius: Liber Iuratus Honorii
Honorius of Thebes
Ibis Press / Nicolas-Hayes

As the title testifies, students were sworn to secrecy before being given access to this magic text, and only a few manuscripts have survived. Bits of its teachings, such as the use of the magic whistle for summoning spirits, are alluded to in other texts. Another key element of its ritual, the elaborate Seal of God, has been found in texts and amulets throughout Europe.

Interest in The Sworn Book of Honorius has grown in recent years, yet no modern translations have been attemptedunt...

Price: $35.00

Beyond the Mauve Zone. Enhanced Edition. Beyond the Mauve Zone. Enhanced Edition.
Grant, Kenneth

London: Starfire Publishing, 2016. Limited Edition. A new, enhanced edition of BEYOND THE MAUVE ZONE, fully corrected by Michael Staley using Kenneth Grant's personal copy with his annotations. The volume has also been re-set, and includes a new index that should prove most useful. A FINE CLOTH COPY in illustrated dust jacket. Custom end papers. Colored frontispiece, and twenty-four page plate section with the majority of the images being in color. 324 pages, indexed. Octavo. This is the eighth,...

Price: $59.95

The Blazing Dew of Stars The Blazing Dew of Stars
Smith, David Chaim
Fulgur Limited

London: Fulgur Limited, 2013. Limited to 1001 copies only. Square landscape folio. For those who have had the joy of handling and experiencing The Sacrificial Universe released last year, this new book will continue that fine tradition. The Blazing Dew of Stars is a complex mystical text which speaks with many voices to introduce the practice of Kabbalistic contemplative alchemy. The volume offers glimpses of a rare view of direct application and immersion into the Real, intertwini...

Price: $89.95

Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality
Allen, Lasara Firefox
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.

"Jailbreaking the Goddess is an important contribution to the writings on Goddess tradition and feminist spirituality. . . . I love her political savvy, her sensitivity around issues of diversity and cultural awareness and appropriation, and her unabashed celebration of pleasure, sensuality, and life!" -- Starhawk

Jailbreaking the Goddess is a revolutionary revisioning of the feminine divine. Where the maiden, mother, crone archetypal system is tied to female biology and physic...

Price: $22.99