Rosicrucian Writings Online

The Imperator Reviews Some Books

 [By H. Spencer Lewis]
[From The Mystic Triangle July 1927]
Our members seemed so pleased regarding our comments about books we feel we should speak of a few more this month. Many of our members say that we have aided them in buying good books and in saving money through not buying worthless books, and this is precisely why we take the space to review or to recommend books. Since we do not sell any of these books ourselves, and therefore have no financial interest in their promotion or recommendation, we hope our members will take advantage of the unbiased recommendations that appear from time to time in these pages.
We will start the review this month with reference to a set of books. We have before us two volumes nicely bound and sold in a cardboard box appropriately labelled and arranged to preserve the books. The title of these books is "The Celestial Ship of the North," volumes one and two, by E. Valentia Straiton. We knew Sister Straiton years ago when she was greatly interested in the work that now interests all of us, and we were glad to see that she had taken the time to compile these two volumes, which represent a research of twenty-five years in the various occult subjects. An excellent idea of the contents of these two volumes can be gained from some of the chapter heads: The Mother of Mystery; The Land of Light; Festivals of Fire; Dualities; The Keeper of the Supernal Treasures; Transcendental Forces; The Ship of Life; The Herald of Light; Guardians of the Super Realms; and many others of similar nature. The books also include a Glossary and symbolical illustrations, as well as a very complete Index. There are over five hundred pages in the two volumes and they are easy to read because intensely interesting and profitable in many ways. This set of books will make a very fine reference library for those who wish to trace the various occult and mystical principles far back into antiquity. The explanation of many of the Egyptian and Oriental principles makes the set of books really an Encyclopedia for reference. This set is published by A. & C. Boni in New York City. Orders should be sent direct to the publishers and we would appreciate having you state that you saw the recommendation in the AMORC magazine.
The next interesting book is a fascinating and very profitable work entitled "Fear" and it is by Rathbone Oliver of Harvard. It is published by The Macmillan Company in New York City and sells for $2.50. Here is a book that begins as a story, or really an autobiography, but it traces in simple language and in an impressive way the origin, nature and development of fear in the human being. It makes perfectly plain the coming of fear and the poison of fear, along with the psychology of its origin, its mechanisms and results. Here we plainly discover what the Rosicrucians have always taught in regard to the power of Black Magic and many other forms of magic that have enslaved multitudes in the past and are still doing so today; for we see at once that it is the fear of these things that affects us. Here we read of the fearful torments of fear, how mental, physical and spiritual abnormal conditions may be aroused in the human body through fear, and how fear itself may be aroused in the hearts and minds of other persons in subtle ways. The book also competently and appropriately explains the antidotes and palliatives for fear, and methods for casting out fear and bringing perfect love into the human being. This book will be of great value to those who have a realization of some peculiar subconscious fear that they seem to carry with them as a result of some experiences in the past, even in the remote past of a previous incarnation. We discover in our daily correspondence at Headquarters that many persons are suffering mental and physical ailments which they have been able to trace to what they call subconscious or unknown fear. On the other hand, hundreds are fearful of various definite things for no seemingly good reason. All of these persons are anxious to get at the cause of this fear or attitude, to change it or completely eliminate it, and this book will help these persons to help themselves and help many others.
I have another set of books now; Volumes one and two of "Ritual and Belief in Morocco." Here are two large volumes of over six hundred pages each, containing an outline and description of the various mystical, arcane, weird, and unusual beliefs and rituals of many ancient peoples. There are wonderful chapters on such subjects as: The Evil Eye; Curses and Oaths; Witchcraft and the Transference of Evil; The Mystical Devils; The Mystical Virtues; Magical Influences and Omens; Dreams, Rites and Beliefs Connected with certain days of the Solar Year or in connection with Agriculture; Methods of Attempting to Influence the Weather; and Beliefs and Customs relating to animals, childbirth, childhood, death, and many other phases of human and animal existence. The book is excellently indexed, contains a number of illustrations and interesting maps, is written in understandable language, with all foreign words explained, and with cross references to many modern ideas and principles. The author is Edward Westermarck, who has been a Professor of Sociology in the University of London, a Professor of Philosophy at the Academy of Abo in Finland, and who is the author of a number of books, including "The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas." Those of our members who are interested in foreign ideas of the immediate past, which were the result of the development of ancient ideas, will find these two volumes of unusual interest. The work is published by The Macmillan Company of New York and sells for $15.00.
Webmaster's Note:
The following books are available online (external links): 
  1. E. Valentia Straiton - The Celestial Ship of the North, Volume I [581 KB PDF]
  2. Edward Westermarck - The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas

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