John Coughlin - Out Of The Shadows An Exploration Of Dark Paganism And Magick (copyrighted book, review only)
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So often darkness is associated with evil. Since the term evil has no place in a nature-based religion, we Pagans are forced to look beyond such stereotypes.But what then is "darkness"? Why are so many of us drawn to themes associated with darkness such as death, mystery, wisdom, magic, and the night? These themes and symbols are empowering to many of us because they tap into the deepest reaches of our unconscious.The goal of this book, which is a culmination of over 16 years of study and practice, is to not only share with ... More >>>
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So often darkness is associated with evil. Since the term evil has no place in a nature-based religion, we Pagans are forced to look beyond such stereotypes.
But what then is "darkness"? Why are so many of us drawn to themes associated with darkness such as death, mystery, wisdom, magic, and the night? These themes and symbols are empowering to many of us because they tap into the deepest reaches of our unconscious.
The goal of this book, which is a culmination of over 16 years of study and practice, is to not only share with you the author's views on Dark Paganism and spirituality, but to encourage you - if not challenge you - to personalize your own belief system.
While the first part explores the aspects and spirituality of darkness, the second part of this book discusses the nature and practice of magic by exploring the underlying principles at work.
In Out of The Shadows, author John J. Coughlin trys to rebuild the balance 'Light Paganism' has created. He gives an easy and understandable description of what the Darkness and 'Dark Paganism' actually are. Though the focus of this book is 'Dark Paganism', the author in no way tries to deny or degrade Light Paganism. In fact, Coughlin actually describes it's benefits and necessities in modern paganism.
In his explanation of the Darkness, Coughlin gives information on "dark siders" including the Gothic and Vampiric Sub-Culture. He gives a clear and understandable explanation of "The Shadow" in sychological terms, as well as symbols, images, and archetypes associated with darkness. I found the section on dark deities to be especially interesting, where Coughlin offers information on specific deities from various pantheons including Celtic,Egyptian, Greek, and Hindu.
Part Two is an explanation of the nature and structure of magick. This section explains how and why magick works as well as it's limitations and psychological factors. Coughlin takes you through each step of the spellcasting process by describing what and how to conduct ritual. This section also contains information on psychic abilities, chaos magick, and sex magick.
Out of The Shadows is really two books in one. It is and exploration of Dark Paganism, but it is also a guide to magick. Because so many books are focused on Light Paganism, this text is truly ground breaking. This book does an excellent job of providing the seeker with the proper tools to explore yourself. It's goal is to suggest, if not test, you to personalize your belief system. You will learn the truth about the Darkness and Dark Paganism. It was an excellent read and I'd highly recommend it to all Pagans.
Jack Coughlin (born January 12, 1966) is a retired Gunnery Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and is the author of the autobiographical book Shooter.'
Jack Coughlin was born and raised in Waltham, Massachusetts. He had four older sisters. His father had been a painting contractor until he decided to change his career to one that included history and literature.
At a young age, Jack was temporarily blinded in his right eye (his shooting eye) when a sharp rock hit his eye when he was passing by a rock fight with two older boys. The eye eventually healed and his sight in the eye was 20/10.
Jack was very passionate about playing baseball throughout his childhood and adolescence. As he proceeded to college, his dreams of making it to Major league baseball were shattered after he hurt his pitching shoulder. Soon after this incident, at the age of 19, Jack decided to enlist in the Marine Corps after consulting with his best friend.
Life in the Marines
Coughlin enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1985 and completed his recruit training at MCRD Parris Island. His first experiences with operating firearms, including shooting a rifle, occurred in the Marine Corps recruit training. He later attended Scout/Sniper school. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion 4th Marines (3/4), part of the 7th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division.
Coughlin was also station at Subic Naval Base Republic of the Philippines with Alpha Company Marine Barracks Starboard Security Platoon and later the Jungle Operations Branch (JOBS)
Coughlin originated the concept of the Mobile Sniper Strike Team (MSST), which he employed in Iraq to great effect, and is now gaining broader support in the military.
Coughlin was deployed to Basra, with British troops, during Operation Iraqi Freedom -- the United States 2003 invasion of Iraq. Later, making his way north to the city of Baghdad with his Marine Corps battalion, Jack was present at the famous toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein.
While in Iraq, Jack received his second Bronze Star with "V" for Valor. When he returned from Iraq, he retired from the Marine Corps.
Legacy and aftermath
Coughlin originated the concept of the Mobile Sniper Strike Team, which he employed in Iraq.
Coughlin's autobiography -- Shooter -- which recounted his military experiences in Iraq, written with Capt. Casey Kuhlman and Donald A. Davis, was published in 2005.
He has written two other books with Davis:
* Kill Zone: A Sniper Novel. MacMillan. 2007. ISBN 978-0-312-94567-1. http://books.google.com/books?id=qobrJsNhO64C.
* Dead Shot. St. Martin's. 2009. ISBN 978-0-312-37912-4.