In The Garden of Abracadabra, the First Fundamental of Real Magic Abby Teller learns at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts is “Knowledge is Power.” And the First Fundamental of that Fundamental is “Know Thyself.” The great philosopher and teacher Pythagoras coined that adage 2,500 years ago, but it still rings true today, especially in this age of media up to our eyeballs.

Did you know that Pythagoras developed the system of numbers we use today? Before Pythagoras, if you wanted to, say, sell five sheep to your neighbor, you’d draw up a contract on a clay tablet or a piece of papyrus and mark “I I I I I,” designating the five sheep. Pythagoras, a well-traveled Greek, was conversant in the ancient Arabic culture and organized the Arabic numerals as 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. (Zero and Ten weren’t invented till several centuries later.)

And the rest, as they say, is history.

(Which is why that ancient SNL skit about the goofy little Greek restaurant where the waiter shouts the order to the fry-cook, “Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, Pepsi, Pepsi, Pepsi,” is so hilarious. Pre-Pythagoras!)

Pythagoras taught the students at his college, the first college in Western civilization offering classes in a number of disciplines, “Know Thyself.” He meant think for yourself. Investigate and research issues yourself, then exercise your own judgment, your own will independently of the crowd, independently of what the media tells you to think. Only then may you practice Real Magic in the real world.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Yet how many people allow themselves to be whipsawed by family, friends, coworkers, and the media?

Know Thyself, my friends.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series (Bast Books)is on Nook and Kindle with a print edition planned for late 2013.

“So refreshing. . . .This is Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter”

This just in from Goodreads! Alan writes: “I loved the writing style and am hungry for more.:D”
Fun and Enjoyable Urban Fantasy January 12, 2012
By D. Pflaster
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a very entertaining novel- sort of a down-to-earth Harry Potter with a modern adult woman in the lead. Even as Abby has to deal with mundane concerns like college and running the apartment complex she works at, she is surrounded by supernatural elements and mysteries that she is more than capable of taking on. Although this book is just the first in a series, it ties up the first “episode” while still leaving some story threads for upcoming books. I’m looking forward to finding out more.

From the author of Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Kindle and Nook.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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