Mike Gleason


TThe Mouse in the Viking’s Beard by R. Phillip Prince © 2009 Wyrdwood Publications eISBN: Wyrdwood-0013 30 pages pdf $4.99

Over the years many bedtime stories have been told to little ones, in cultures as diverse as Hawaiian and Greek; Mayan and Japanese; Bantu and Norse. This is one of the latter. It is not an ancient story – you won’t find it amongst the sagas or Eddas; nor is it a profound story. It is a simple tale which contains a multitude of morals in its few pages.

It contains images which are familiar to everyone – the lovable old braggart, the bedraggled mouse, and the raging storm – which make it easy for little ones to relate to it. It gives opportunities for children to stretch their imaginations trying to picture the surroundings related during the course of the story.

In many ways it reminds me of stories I used to tell my children when they were young, and which hold some of my fondest memories of raising them.

Personally, I would recommend printing this little gem out to make it easier to tell (no sense dragging your laptop to the bedside. There aren’t any illustrations (except for the cover pages), but this may inspire you to have your child draw some.

This was a fun story. I have no hesitation at all in recommending it. Check out their website for more offerings.

Encyclopedia of Angels by Richard Webster ? 2009 Llewellyn ISBN: 978-0-7387-1462-2 262 pages Paperback $21.95 (U.S.) $25.50 (Canada)

A few centuries ago this book would have been: a) invaluable; b) impossible to produce; and c) the result of years of painstaking research and writing in the scriptorium of some European monastery.

Of course, as an encyclopedia, it is intended primarily as a reference work and is not meant to be ?read?. Consequently, my review is based on an overview of the work based on a number of entries with which I am familiar.

This is an extensive, though by no means comprehensive, listing of angels, their attributes, works and assorted facts. The total number of angels in existence, according to some authorities, is in the vicinity of four BILLION (!), so a comprehensive listing is quite out of the question.

Of course, among the angels listed are many who sided with Satan during the rebellion in heaven. Despite the fact that they are considered to be demons at this time, they started their existence as angels. Excluded from the listing are the majority of Enochian Magick angels, which would need their own volume to deal with properly. Also excluded are those angels about whom nothing except their name is known.

One thing which becomes apparent as one studies angels (as many in the New Age community do) is that there is often serious disagreement about the name, function, and even rank of various members of the angelic hierarchy. Some of these were caused by translations (a number of early Middle Eastern languages were written without the use of vowels); while some are based on differing opinions of authorities (Dante and John Milton have very different opinions regarding Beelzebub). This can lead to a certain amount of confusion.

As well as containing information on hundreds of angelic beings from Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic cultures there is information on the ranks of angels (choirs, dominions, thrones, etc.), sources of information (writers, books, and religions), and various other data. All of this is result of years of study and research being condensed down into a usable size and format. While angelology is not a main interest of mine (it is of several close acquaintances, however) I recognize its appeal to a large number of individuals today.

The appendix includes three separate invocations for guardian angels.

If you are interested in angelology this is a worthwhile addition t6o your library. I would not, necessarily, class it as the best book I have read on the subject, but it is easy to use and the index expands its usefulness.


The Sphinx Mystery by Robert Temple with Olivia Temple © 2009 Inner Tradition ISBN: 978-1-59477-271-9 565 pages Paperback $24.95 (U.S.) $27.95 ( Canada)

TAt one time, decades ago, I was attracted to the mysteries surrounding the ancient land of Egypt as are many people even today. I was even more strongly attracted by the “mysteries” written about by individuals as disparate as Sir E.A. Wallis Budge and Edgar Cayce. Throughout these writings ran the image and speculations on the subject of, the Sphinx. Unfortunately most of these speculations were backed up by nothing except personal opinion. Professor (visiting professor of the history and science of philosophy at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, member of Royal Historical Society and others) Temple’s book, on the other hand, contains support for his conjectures.

Although moderately technical (there really is no way to avoid it on a subject this complex), it is eminently readable and fairly easily understood. Chapter Seven: The Sphinx and the Giza Plan is the one spot most likely to lose readers due to the complex mathematical and spatial relationships being discussed. Fortunately there are profuse illustrations throughout the book which help to illuminate the topics under discussion in the text. More photos, and some in color, will soon be available at

There are no grand conspiracy theories here, although there is a certain amount of disdain for the behavior of some Egyptologists and explorers. The mainstay of the conspiracy theorists – that there is a hidden chamber proving the existence of Atlantis (or our origin among the stars, or any other pet belief) - is discussed in realistic detail; as is the theory of rain erosion of the Sphinx. Both of these topics are treated as realistic topics and not dismissed out of hand.

The final 92 pages before the notes comprise Accounts of the Sphinx from Roman Times to 1817 as well as translations of various papers relating to expeditions during the 19th century as well as drawings made during an investigation of the Sphinx in 1992.

This is a thoroughly readable account of the reality of the Sphinx. There is no unfounded speculation although some deductions are made and conclusions drawn which will be at variance with both the scientific consensus and New Age beliefs. Professor makes no attempt to placate either side of the debate. He simply lays out his conclusions and allows the reader to decide whether they agree or not.

Pagans on the Wildside: Campfire Cooking edited by Edain Duguay ? 2009 eISBN: WYRDWOOD-0015 46 pages ebook $4.99 (U.S.)

There are positives and negatives associated with ebooks from smaller companies. On the positive side are the facts that they often fill over-looked niche topics, they are often (as in this case) dedicated to ecological causes, and they give the reader an exposure to authors and contributors they may not otherwise encounter. On the negative side are the facts that the editing and proofreading often suffers from a lack of thoroughness and?you know I can?t think of any other negatives at this point.

These are all really basic recipes, but that should go without saying. After all, you are not going to be doing gourmet cooking around a campfire. For all of that, these recipes are designed to give you a little bit of everything ? breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and snacks.

There is one short story to start things off, which was cute, if a bit predictable. There are also some humorous asides contained within the recipes, but the focus of the book is on enjoyable food for camping. There are about 40 recipes and, although I haven?t tried all of them out, I can tell that they are simple and designed to be fun to make and eat.

It is a good collection of recipes and well worth the price.