Thursday, January 04, 2018

2018 Upcoming Titles - Spirituality/Meditation

Lately I've really gotten more into nonfiction books. (Shoutout to my friend who called this years ago....😒)

I recently read the really really amazing book, The Way of the Lover and WOW. It just was the most amazing book I have read in YEARS. Legit! It's a book written about Sufism; an old spiritual practice that dates back to early and pre-Islamic times. I have been studying more of Sufism in the past year, and this is really the best book I've read so far on the subject. It was easy to understand, and very very great for sources (as far as other reads in various subjects that were touched upon in the book). It wasn't so much focused on love, as the name suggests, but it was more that it focuses on self-love and the basic tenets of what is needed to truly love someone unconditionally.

I noticed that there are a bunch of really great titles coming out in 2018! More so than usual, and I suspect because a lot of subjects that were typically deemed to be too "New-Age-y" just weren't circulating in popular charts and online booksellers like how they are now. It's  kind of becoming 'trendy' and it's weird for those of us who grew up with it not being 'trendy' and are used to hiding things (like the fact that I have crystals and tarot cards).

Now my whole life I have been around crystals as my dad and his side of the family actively believe in the power of crystals. So I was educated about their properties, and grew up surrounded by them. This was something I definitely didn't volunteer freely, because people would generally give me open words of 'advice' not to take that 'stuff' too seriously. Now, since about this year or maybe 2016 - crystals have actually become "popular" and not taboo at all. So yes I did bring several crystals to put on my office desk.

This trend marks the shift into popular culture regarding 'alternate lifestyles' where mindfulness, spirituality, and intuition are not seen as scary or kooky things--but rather as facets of the self which some individuals seek to explore.

If you're new to all this stuff, try not to get too overwhelmed. Pick a few things that you are more drawn to; such as yoga or perhaps walking meditation practices. Then go from there! 2018 definitely has a ton of titles being released regarding these subjects! If you have one you don't see on here let me know!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Winter Solstice - Shabeh Yalda

Image Background: Dr. Trita Parsi (NIAC)

Iranians (or those of Iranian descent) around the world look forward to the celebration of Shab-e Yalda. It's a celebration of our ancient culture, a celebration that dates back to pre-Islamic times. Staying up late and reading Hafez’s poetry, munching on deliciously crunchy and sweet pomegranates, and most importantly, spending time with our friends and family. We celebrate the warmth of friends and family because Shab-e Yalda falls on the Winter Solstice which is the longest night of the year. 
There is a particular synchronicity this year as Saturn returns and shifts into Capricorn (after spending two years in Sagittarius). The planets are shifting, politics are traumatizing us every day (Americans). For many of us 2017 has been a very dark year. The open hostility and hatred towards our community employed by this administration and pointedly, the Muslim Ban impacting our friends and family. While some of us are lucky enough to celebrate this holiday with our loved ones, there are many among us who do not have this luxury. If you are in a prosperous place, please consider donating to a community organization that assists refugees or other communities who support those who need it most. I personally support the NIAC, you can find out more about supporting them here.

If you would like to contribute to the NIAC, you can contribute via Paypal here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Book Review: A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs: An Introduction to Spiritual Astrology by Joseph Polansky

A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs: An Introduction to Spiritual Astrology
by Joseph Polansky
Publisher: Dodona Books
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Date of Publication: 

A spiritual perspective on the 12 signs of the zodiac, the horoscope, healing and spirituality. People's quirks and idiosyncrasies have deep spiritual roots. The horoscope shows us what they are. What are seen as flaws are really strengths deeply disguised or not used properly. Every sign is in essence a spiritual force and function and denotes a person's deepest urges. This book explains these urges. It also contains meditations for each of the signs, and the herbs, colors, gems and reflexology points that will most benefit each sign. There are chapters on the unique spiritual path for each sign and the healing modalities that are best for each - and much more.

This was a really interesting read! I can definitely see why 'Spirituality' was in the title - it provides way more than your standard astrology book with something for each sign that is a variation of what is often found in those books.

For instance, all the signs are depicted at a roundtable in the clouds sort of thing, where each sign appears and is described in detail (from their appearance, to the words they use, etc.) claiming what is the "meaning of life" (most important facets of life) according to each sign. I thought this was a really clever and creative way of delving into the more spiritual aspects of the signs and how they all make up a 'wheel' that symbolizes the evolution of the soul in different incarnations. Definitely a great way to explain how the signs are different yet different evolutions of 1.

This book is succinct and highly original where there was a mix of really philosophical insight and also great explanations about what each sign represents (Aries - the Infant, etc). This volume contains a high number of very new concepts yet was easy for me to grasp (although I do recommend reading it twice, or at least parsing through it more than once to gain what you probably missed during the first read).

Monday, December 11, 2017

Book Review! Real Life Guidance on How to Get Along and Be Friends with the First Sign of the Zodiac by Mary English

How to Appreciate an Aries: Real Life Guidance on How to Get Along and Be Friends with the First Sign of the Zodiac 
by Mary English
Publisher: Dodona Books
Date of Publication: 2013
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This thin volume is the perfect read for any astrology-lover or learner looking to understand each sign directly and in great detail.

If you're like me, you've read several astrology books up until this point. I think I've only read one other book/series that goes into each sign with its own book. I really like how she has different titles for each one; titles that she was determined 'fit' each zodiac sign. She even goes into detail in the beginning chapter about coming up with the title and the email exchanges back and forth between several different Aries....It was brilliant! We got so much out of those and I think it really helped me contextualize what is sometimes very repetitive behavior descriptors (enthusiastic, driven, selfish, etc). What does that look like IRL? Mary English shows us.

I do wish it was a bit longer, actually. I think there could have been more in there about the main personality run-off situations; like the 'shy' Aries, or the Aries who suffered trauma as a child and taks the form of ___.

I'd love to read her other works and compare. I think next I will try to read the Aquarius one. It's always more telling how well the author writes your own sign...😅

If you are an Aries, or are looking to understand an Aries close to you in your life, I definitely recommend reading this book!It's short and sweet, but very dense.
You may have to read it several times (like I did) to get the full amount of information she is conveying!

So go ahead and read it, you can thank me later :)

*note* Thank you to Dodona Books who granted my request for a review copy.

View all my reviews