Black Freemasonry Book Review

black-freemasonryNew short book review up at Ashé Journal…

Black Freemasonry: From Prince Hall to the Giants of Jazz, Cécile Révauger
Inner Traditions, 2016, $29.95

Already the author of several books on Freemasonry in French, University of Bordeaux professor Cécile Révauger turns her attention to the history of Black Freemasonry in the United States. As early as the eighteenth century, the Masonic lodges of Europe were open to both white and black men. The story was different in the United States, however, where African Americans were barred from admittance. This gave rise to a separate lodge system for black Masons (originally operating under a charter from the Grand Lodge of England). Révauger begins her history with the origination of “African Lodges” in Boston and Philadelphia during the last quarter of the 18th century. By the early 1800s, this network of lodges had changed its name to Prince Hall Lodges taking the name of the legendary founder of the first black lodge in Boston. The author had access to diverse archives maintained by the Grand Lodges, Masonic libraries, and museums. The richness of the material shows in the detailed history provided. She provides insights into the founding of the first lodge and the historical personage that was Prince Hall through a detailed examination of his letters. Black Freemasonry provides a fascinating historical account of the development of Prince Hall Masonry, its role in the Civil War, the structure it provided during reconstruction, and its influence on the early Civil Rights Movement.

Meticulously research, Révauger’s Black Freemasonry provides a fascinating historical ride from the development of Prince Hall Masonry during the revolutionary period through the rise of Jazz to the battles of the Civil Rights Movement.

Zorba the Buddha (Review)

Zorba the Buddha

Zorba the Buddha

My review of Hugh Urban’s Zorba the Buddha: Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement is now up at Ashé Journal.

Despite the ubiquity of news coverage in the 1980s, the Osho-Rajneesh movement’s experiment in building a spiritual city out the Oregon desert has for the most part receded from the national memory. It is little more than a quirky footnote to the history of Reagan’s American. There remain a few old enough to remember (when nudged) that guy with all the Rolls Royces. This despite the fact that at the time the creation of Rajneeshpuram (and later the “takeover” of the town of Antelope) was one of the most covered national news stories of its day and the creation of the Oregon commune one of the greatest social experiments of its kind in the history of the United States.

Though the movement attracted a degree scholarship during its early phase in India and initially after coming to America, since the dissolution of the Oregon commune there has been scant academic attention paid to the movement. One exception being Lewis F. Carter’s book Charisma and Control in Rajneeshpram: The Role of Shared Values in the Creation of a Community, published in 1990 less than five years after last the Rolls left the Bhagwan’s city on a hill. Carter’s book deals almost exclusively with the development and eventual demise of the Oregon commune and its legal aftermath. There has been no book length scholarly examinations of the movement as a whole from Acharya Rajneesh’s earliest years in Bombay to its later transformations and the movements relation to the larger spiritual and global landscapes of the late twentieth century. That is until now with the University of California publication of Hugh Urban’s Zorba the Buddha: Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement.

Read more…


Eat Sleep Sit review

Eat Sleep Sit, Kaoru Nonomura

Eat Sleep Sit, Kaoru Nonomura

I have a short review of Nonomura’s Eat Sleep Sit: My Year at Japan’s Most Rigorous Zen Temple is now up at:

Ashé Journal

At the beginning of a successful career, the author decided to enter a Buddhist monastery. Putting everything else on hold, he entered the priestly training program of Eihei-ji, Japan’s most famous Soto Zen monastery. Founded in the 13th century by master Dogen, Eihei-ji is Soto Zen’s main training temple and is renowned for its difficulty and rigorousness…

Rebel Satori: State of the Press 2013

I’ve been asked quite a bit recently as to what is happening with the press. Rebel released 7 titles in 2012, but we have had an admittedly quiet winter. Now we’re gearing up to kick off 2013 with announcing 10 upcoming releases! I’m exciting about all of them—focusing on quality, not quantity and maintaining the joy of publishing and working with authors I love and count as dear friends.

Conjure: A book of spells, Peter Dubé

Evoking hidden worlds, summoning visions and making magic happen, Conjure: a Book of Spells is filled with vivid image and tantalizing narrative fragments that stir the heart, mind and eye. Echoing the tone and structure of Medieval and Renaissance grimoires, Dubé’s unique collection joins surrealist automatism with rigorous formal discipline and offers readers a profound and complex work. Street date July 23.


9781608640591cvr-opt2Silencing Orpheus, J. Warren

Orpheus has vowed never to touch a woman, play music or sing again if he can’t be with his wife. Since he cannot cross the river Styx, he has spent millennia wandering. Others are watching him, though, and waiting to balance the natural order of things. Can a boy who was almost sold into a life of sexual slavery teach this immortal to love again before it’s too late? The sequel to the underground hit Stealing Ganymede.


9781608640034cvrDysfunction, L.A. Fields

Recent runaway Marley Kurtz (Maladaptation) is back home in Florida after a long road trip. He and his boyfriend Jesse get jobs, move into a loft above a mechanic’s garage, and start living the good life. They don’t stay free for long however; Marley is eventually pressured into reuniting with the family that sent him away. Far from being disowned, Marley soon finds himself pulled in too many directions at once.

Along with his sister, Lindsay, and his boss’s new foster son, Tristan, Marley must figure out what kind of family he’ll choose to call his own. Will it be the parents who raised and abandoned him, or the friends and adults in his life who have proven they really care? It should be an easy decision, but letting go is never easy.


cover_exp_6-1A Certain Kind of Light, Thomas Moore

Told through the eyes of a nameless teenage boy, A Certain Kind of Light sees the narrator attempt to find some kind cohesion in a life from which he feels increasingly disconnected. As his family, friendships, sexuality and even his taste in music and pornography begin to feel distant from him, his alienation expands. The things that once meant everything to him are stripped of an essence he begins to doubt they ever had. He fixates on a profile of a boy that he finds on the Internet, projecting illusory ideas upon a person that he has never met but feels a profound intimacy with. Feeling more and more lost, he attempts to work out the connection between a disparate set of coincidences, objects and events: a dead, mangled bird, the funeral of his best friend’s father, a horrific experience with LSD, obsessive sexual fantasies and the disintegrating suburban life in which he was raised. Intensely emotionally and disorientating, A Certain Kind of Light focuses on the intricacies of confusion. On Dennis Cooper’s “most eagerly anticipated books of 2013” list. 

Also releasing later this year:

Nefarious, Emanuel Xavier

Ashé #7.2 Now Available

Fall is the time when the veils between the worlds are thinnest. It is the time when the dead walk among the living and pagan beasts are blurs in the shadows. The final harvest done, the fields are given over to the faery.

This issue of Ashe Journal brings together celebrations of the wild and pagan energies of this time featuring the poetry of Skadi meic Beorh, David Finn, Robert Walker, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhran, Diana R. Thompson, David Finn, Lupercus Pagani and Jess Mann.

Also featured in issue #7.2 are a history of the Order of Perpetual Indulgence by Sister Soami; an essay on becoming yourself through your dreams by Dr. Jerrid P. Freeman and Angela Passarelli; new writing from Raymond Yeo and Sud Ram; and book reviews.

Check out the new issue of Ashé Journal.

Selections available online:

Print edition available from the Press’s online store and

Ashé Journal #7.1 Now Available

Ashé Journal 7.1

ISBN: 978-0-9790838-4-6
Paperback, 120 pages, 6×9, $12.95


Features an examination of the Buddhist influence on the artwork of Sylvain Bouthillette by Peter Dubé; new fiction from Riley McLeod; The Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom translated by Brendan Connell; excerpts from Brad Warner’s Sit Down and Shut Up; and writing from Darin Beasley, Tim Holmes, Iamba, Thomas Fuchs, Girish Menezes, Charles Suhor, Bob Makransky, Stephen Killeen, Toni Fergusson and Farrell Davisson; artwork by Garin Horner; plus books reviews.

With the release of 7.1 come some exciting changes in the direction of the journal. We have decided to expand the Ashé project by increasing our focus distribution of the print edition. In order to make this feasible, the Journal will be issued biannually around the spring and vernal equinoxes. The full table of contents and selected samples of each issue will be presented online immediately. The release of the full online edition will be embargoed for approximately twelve months.

The full print edition is available through your local bookseller or directly from Rebel Satori Press at


Many people have asked about journal subscriptions over the past several years. Now, with the move toward full print runs, we are introducing a subscription service.

Introductory subscription rates are $16.00/ year (2 issues) within the USA. That’s over 60% off the cover price and 20% off regular subscription rate.

Subscription information is available on the journal’s website. International readers should contact the journal for a custom quote.

Ashé 6.2 Now Available

Ashe 6.2 CoverThe new issue of Ashé Journal is now online and available.

This special full color art issue features the work of Antonio Roybal, Nemo, Ben Baldwin, Joyce Ellen Weinstein, Darrell Black, Tantra Bensko, Janice Lincoln and A.R. Teest. Opening the issue is a essay “Eternity in Ephemerality: An Enduring Enigma” by Patrick Jemmer, Ph.D. and Rachel Jemmer, HND.

Ashé Issue 6.1 Now Available

The Spring 2007 issue of Ashe Journal is now

This issue features the a lead article by David R. Cole, Ph.D. on Techno-shamanism and Educational Research; fiction by Brendan Connell, Tristram Burden and Christopher Woods; an examination of struggles over sexuality, filth and salvation by Diepiriye Kuku-Siemons; poetry by David Finn, Tim Holmes, Matt Mallon, Andrew T. Cutler, Laurie Corzett, Johnathan Sampson; plus reviews and more.

The issues features the artwork, cover design and artist statement of Jason Kraley.


Ashé Issue 5.4 Now Available

The winter issue of Ashé Journal (#5.4) is now live and online. This special issue is guest edited by Jay Michaelson, editor of Zeek: A Journal of Jewish Thought and Culture.

Jewish spirituality in the last several decades has undergone multiple revolutions. The liberation movements of the 1960s, encounters with non-Western religious traditions and the cosmopolitanism of the Internet have all left their mark, and have created new forms of Jewishness. Today there are feminist Jews and queer Jews; Jufis, BuJus, and HinJus; meditating Jews and psychedelic shamanic Jews; and even a few traditional Jews scratching their skullcapped heads and wondering what it all means.

Thank God for Ashé, because within the established Jewish community, many of the voices represented here would be considered threatening or foreign. I edit a progressive Jewish magazine, which features cultural and spiritual writing, but we’re still sometimes expected to conform to expectations of what “Jewish” is supposed to mean. It’s been truly liberating to curate an issue of Ashé, where the boundaries are more permeable. Here are pot-smoking Hasidim, Jewish priestesses, horny tourists and political poets. A former dean of a rabbinical school, now praising the Golden Calf. A Poet Laureate… of Queens. And, on the cover, Allen Ginsberg meeting Kabbalah: the Hebrew means “Serpent / Messiah,” and plays off the antinomian Kabbalistic observations that the two words share the same numeric value; the drawing personally inscribed in a book for Ashé’s founder, Sven Davisson.

These are the words and images of a Jewish culture beginning to emerge, a new spirituality that, born from the creators of boundary, now seeks the Boundless.

The issue includes the work of Tom Bland, Mordecai Drache, Susan H. Case, Jill Hammer, Rahel Chalfi, Rabbi Ohad Ezrachi, Jacob Staub, Jay Michaelson, Ruth Knafo Setton, Yoseph Leib, Hal Sirowitz and Sven Davisson; and artwork by Darryl Zudeck, Stan Goldberg, Ken Vollario, Orly Cogan, Joyce Ellen Weinstein, Rebecca Jay, Bara Sapir and Allen Ginsberg.

Ashé Journal #5.3 Now Available

Issue 5.3The Fall ’06 Issue of Ashé Journal (#5.3) is now available:

Articles include:

Earth and Sky Gods of India and Greece: Finding the Feminine in Masculine Myths by Dirk Dunbar, Ph.D.

All Things Are Like This
by the 13th century Master Dogen Zenji, founder of the Soto school of Japanese Zen
Commentary on the Tibetan Book of the Dead
by Brendan Connell
A World Divided
by Zen Master Gudo W. Nishijima
The Savage Buddha: Notes on Gautama & the K?p?lika-vrata by Sritantra

Cultural Engineering With Eyes Wide Shut? Playback/Feedback Magicks And The Archaeology Of The Now by Tristram Burden
Teachings by Shakyamuni Buddha and Nissim Amon

Artist Portfolio: Ernest Williamson III
Astroplankton Break Dance
New literary fiction by Sarah Knorr

and Poetry by David Keali’i

plus reviews of Tibetan Magic and Mysticism, Enlightened Courage, The Hundred Verses of Advice, The Complete Magician’s Tables, and Pan’s Road