Power Crystals by John DeSalvo

Power Crystals: Spiritual and Magical Practices, Crystal Skulls, and Alien Technology
John DeSalvo, Ph.D.
Destiny Books, 2012
189 pages

Reviewed by Ser

Lupa hadn’t told me which book I’d be receiving to review, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book chosen for me was Power Crystals. I had just viewed a few documentaries on the subject of crystals skulls, including Smithsonian’s The Legend of the Crystal Skulls, and I was eager to devour more information on this enchanting topic. Unfortunately, I don’t feel the author lived up to my expectations.

There were three main issues I had with Power Crystals that I would like to discuss. First, this book proved difficult to read and I had to walk away from it numerous times. There are plenty of examples of typos and grammatical issues, as well as repetitive and run-on sentences such as:

– “These practices were all forbidden by the church, and the continued practice of them could lead to excommunication or worst.” (pg. 38)
– “I wrote a book called Andrew Jackson Davis, First American Prophet and Clairvoyant about the nineteenth-century clairvoyant and prophet.” (pg. 57)
– “They hold a power to heal, but modern crystal practitioners have not unlocked the lock.” (pg. 60)
– “Known for his in-depth scientific work on the Shroud of Turin… John DeSalvo holds a Ph.D. in biophysics and, for more than 30 years, scientifically studied the Shroud of Turin.” (back cover)

Second, in the Introduction the author voiced his wish to “be the first scientist/paranormal researcher to carry out the first objective study of ancient crystal skulls”. However, this goal is not carried out even through the second chapter. Chapter Two started out with a lot of potential, briefly mentioning the Schumann Resonance and how it might contribute to a connection between crystals and the human brain, but then goes on to spend a lot of time on biblical references that don’t contribute to his point. For example, DeSalvo inserts a large quote from Ezekiel 1:22-28, citing a “significant reference to crystal”: “Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like an awe-inspiring crystal”, followed by many more lines with no further crystal references. The author then quotes the Bible three more times, with more examples of how something is shining “like crystal”. The author is using these examples to illustrate “the holy significance of crystal”, but to me, these are just similes and do nothing to strengthen his argument.

Part Two was focused on crystal skulls and the tests performed on these skulls to determine their age. The premise of this section was interesting, but again there was an issue of the author’s objectivity. In one section, he states, “We all know the power of prayer and the energy it releases” (pg. 57). This area would have benefited from a short discussion on his view of the power and energy of prayer before comparing it to crystal energy. I also question his definition of “specific” when he says that “soon” is a specific time frame (pg. 104) – soon could mean in an hour, or it could mean a month from now. He also includes some side stories which detract from the subject of the book; in chapter 4, he says that he believes in spiritual healing, though he has never experienced success healing with crystals or any other gems. To qualify his belief, he explains an experience at a charismatic healing program, spanning two pages, which ends in, “This is the mystery of God’s will. I do believe Jesus healed my back that day” (pg. 59). Again, this seems to detract from his goal of scientific research and objectivity. He brings up a scientific subject, such as string theory, then with the next sentence states his experiences and assumes his reader will accept them as reality because he does. I would also like to know why he feels that scrying with crystals is successful, while healing with crystals is not.

Lastly, I feel that the last two sections of the book need a lot of expansion. Section Three, and in particular Chapter 10, deals with meditation, and seems almost entirely written by his friend Helene Olsen. While her input is important, there should be more sources and discussion on meditation than just quotes from one person! Chapter 11 seems to serve as an advertisement for his other books, as he mentions their titles four times in a span of four paragraphs. It is also worth noting that the author seems to see God as male-only energy, taking a lot of his reference from his time in the Christian church, which may not sit well with some readers. He prefaces his section on Enochian meditations and journey to the Thirtieth Aethyr with a warning to undertake this exploration at your own risk, yet I don’t think he was able to get his point across about why we would want to try this meditation, how it relates to crystals, and what it can offer.

Part Four, dealing with Atlantis and alien technology, comprises a mere 14 pages of the book. What was said about Atlantis seems to not even have been written in his voice and instead reads like a history book (which may actually be more his style, as his previous works include college textbooks). He teases the reader about a “structure” found on the Atlantic Ocean floor that could be a remnant of Atlantis, but then neglects to describe the structure at all! All he says is that it could be man-made – but how? Is it a building? Is it a statue? What could this mean for our view of history? The reader is left wondering.

That said, I do have to compliment DeSalvo on his inclusion of numerous lovely, full-color photos. There are 29 full-color “plates” as well as a few diagrams and photos throughout the rest of the book, all displaying wonderful crystals and skulls. (My favorite photo is #9, a rose quartz crystal larger than the man posing next to it!) I also enjoyed the variety of topics presented by DeSalvo as well as the way they were presented in order to build on each other as you progressed through the book – I just feel many of them are lacking in detail and the scientific attention he seemed to want to give them. There was a lot of potential in this book, but overall it feels rushed – so many details are omitted, sentences confusing, and again it has that lack of objectivity throughout. It seems that Power Crystals was written for a group of close-knit friends – the author frequently mentions how he is close to this skull owner, or this psychic. While it may accurately portray the relationships between skull owners (as ancient and antique skull owners are few and far between), at the same time I wonder why this book was not proofread by these individuals a few times to help the author catch some of the spelling and grammar issues, and perhaps point out a few of the places needing further clarification.

I would not recommend this book to those looking for an objective study of crystal skulls. I would suggest it to someone in passing, if they were interested in personal experiences with crystal skulls and photos of lovely crystal collections, but would suggest skipping the last two, seemingly unfinished, sections.

One pawprint out of five.

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Quadrivium Oils by Quadrivium Supplies

Quadrivium Oils
Quadrivium Supplies
Assorted blends

Reviewed by Skyllaros

About a month ago I received a sampler pack of oils from Quadrivium Supplies http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com/). I wanted to take a good amount of time to thoroughly review them both for their quality as an oil, and have a chance to use them magically as well.

For those not familiar with Quadrivium, these oils are made for ritual magicians. Most people are familiar with Hoodoo oils, and these follow the same concept but seem to be made for practitioners of ritual magic in mind. Many of the oils are made based on the timing of astrological elections, lunar calendars, and planetary hours. They are made with natural ingredients.

First off let’s talk about the oils themselves. They came in little amber glass bottles, and let me tell you they smelled wonderful! They do not skimp on the ingredients! Each of them smelled sublime and very strong. One dab worn was almost too much. Eventually I started dabbing them on my pocket piece (High John the Conqueror root) in the morning instead of putting them on my person, which seemed a perfect comprimise. However each of the ones I tested smelled good enough to be used as a personal scent for magical means if that’s your preference. I think delicious is the word I would use. Also, they simply feel magical, a far cry from some of the inert feeling oils I have used in the past. One can simply tell upon opening that they were crafted by someone who knows what they are doing and puts the utmost of themselves into their creation.

I received bottles of Cut and Clear, Red Fast Luck, Road Opener, Crown of Success, and Fortune and Favor. Many of these fit with workings I had planned anyway so it was the perfect time to test them. I was able to test 4 of them fully. First off I used Fortune and Favor. This was by far my personal favorite. I first used it to anoint a candle in a Favor of Kings ritual I did in the day and hour of the sun to kick off the enchantment. After that I wore a dab of both Fortune and Favor and Crown of Success on my person daily, as well as putting in in strategic places on my desk and work place. I noticed a profound difference almost immediately. Not only did I notice people treating me with greater respect and reverence throughout the day, but the effect worked on myself as well as I felt as if I was radiating confidence at a visceral level. Thus I considered the rite a resounding success, and I continue to use them today.

Next I used Cut and Clear. I had an unfortunate situation with a co-worker that required I did my first binding in years. I used the oil, again anointed on the candle I used for the working and the co-worker has all but ceased bothering me or interacting with me negatively in any fashion. It worked quickly and completely, as I noticed to be the case with the previous oils.

I also had the opportunity to use Red Fast Luck on one occasion when quick luck was required. Lets just say my Will was done and all went according to plan that day. Would it of anyway? It’s hard to say, but the oil did appear to help matters go very smoothly in the best way possible.

I would recommend using these oils wholeheartedly. If I had to summarize one thing about my time working with these oils it would be that in all cases of my use they worked quickly and effectively.

Five pawprints out of five.

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Reading Egyptian Art by Richard Wilkinson

Reading Egyptian Art: A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Egyptian Painting and Sculpture
Richard Wilkinson
Thames & Hudson, 1994
224 pages

Reviewed by Devo

I have to say that I’m very impressed with this book. This is the first book that I’ve read in a long time that presented any new material for me to learn. And after reading this book, I feel like I could potentially navigate ancient Egyptian reliefs with a bit more knowledge and ability.

This book is set up pretty simply. On any given spread, you will see a hieroglyph and its name. On the right side, you’ll see the glyph explained in detail about what it represents, its symbolism, uses, etc. On the left hand side, you’ll see various pictures and examples of the glyph being used. It makes a nice reference, esp. when you’re looking at some relief, and want to know more about it. In the back, there is a basic index of hieroglyphs, in case you want the full list.

The book presents a wide variety of glyphs which have been categorized into easily navigable chapters and sections for easy reference. The writing is straight forward and very easy to read. The writing style works well for beginner and seasoned reader alike.

The only down side to this book is that I wish he covered more glyphs. I flip through the back, and look at other symbols, and I want to know what they mean, what they represent. I wish there was a full reference of every major ancient Egyptian hieroglyph, so that I could study it more. Other than that, I have no complaints with this book. I learned a lot of mythology I didn’t know before, I learned more specifics about the gods that I was unaware of, and I got to learn more about the basic symbols you see all the time, but usually aren’t explained well.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this book if you’re interested in learning more about symbolism and hieroglyphs in Ancient Egyptian art.

Five pawprints out of five.

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Following the Sun by Sharon LaBorde

Following the Sun: A Practical Guide to Egyptian Religion
Sharon LaBorde
Self-published (lulu.com), 2010
300 pages

Reviewed by Devo

This book disappointed me on many levels, though I can’t say that it was unexpected. There were many things that irritated me about this book, though a few things stick out in particular. Those being: the author’s sourcing, the author’s tone/writing style, and the actual content of the book.

My biggest complaint about this book is the sourcing (or lack thereof). For me, if you’re not an actual Egyptologist and you’re writing about historical ancient Egypt, you have to have good sourcing in order to be taken seriously. Otherwise, your work means nothing. There are many tidbits and facts in this book that I have never seen before. This is normally a good thing, because it means I’m learning new information. However, in this case, the lack of sourcing makes the book totally useless because I can’t vouch for the validity of much of anything that is written.

My second issue with this book is the author’s tone while writing. I assume that she wanted to be considered “jovial” or easy to approach. However, it just makes the author appear dumbed down, or that the author feels that you, the reader, are dumb. It was so frustrating. Along with her tone, I didn’t like that she made it sound like Kemeticism IS this or IS that. There is no wiggle room. Nothing irritates me more than a black and white book that speaks as though it knows all. Ugh. She is quick to call certain theories “zany” or outlandish. She is very harsh towards ideas that are not her own. Along the lines of harsh content, both her Intro and Conclusion had “stories” in them that made reference to people who misunderstood Kemeticism. That’s fine, but the way she relates these stories to the reader is more of a “I met this person, and they said something stupid in relation to Kemeticism. And now that you’ve read my book, you won’t be as stupid as they were!” What if the people she referenced happened to read her book and they saw her caustic remarks?

And finally, I didn’t like the content of the book. I felt that the content wasn’t well researched at all. And you can definitely see the biases of the author through the content (e.g. a total slap to anything remotely Kemetic Orthodox in nature, or her constant references to the 18th dynasty, a dynasty that she is very much into). To me, an author should promote an unbiased and well researched book, and this book is neither.

All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone, especially not to a beginner (which is ironically the target audience for this book). I fear that if a beginner read this book before anything else- that they would have to unlearn a lot of things that are not generally accepted in the Kemetic community. Plus, due to the bad sourcing, I am afraid that some of the facts or scenarios laid out in this book are incorrect, thereby causing problems for the newcomer who stumbles their way into the online Kemetic community.

1 pawprint out of 5

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