How Does I Divination?

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On a wholly unrelated note, I’ve been really enjoying spending a lot of time outside watching the season change listening to Burzum. If you have the chance, I highly suggest listening to one of the meandering tracks on a day when you have a lot of time and just watching the time go on in a field or forest somewhere. Heck, put it on and read the post.

Very occasionally I run into a real head scratcher.

The person in question was trying to use the Thoth deck to give “intuitive readings”. I get it – sort of. Crowley himself had to do some sort of intuitive work to produce the thing. It also incidentally happens to be pretty much the only tarot I use. Even when we go back to things like the Tarot de Marseille, it’s pretty obvious these were some sort of occult flash cards for someone to tell a story about gnosticism. I also realize the place of intuitive work in divination – whatever the definition of the card happens to be, how does that apply to the person? When you’re paying a fortune-teller or card reader or whomever, the money goes into their ability to figure out how those cards tell a story beyond their individual definitions. I very occasionally wrote about “house definitions” of runes, but those typically occur when two runes are overlapping or occur in a particular order. So what’s the problem?

They were just reading the title of the card, and making up a story. In this case, they had decided that “dominion” (two of wands) was actually a card about politics.

The worst part about it? The card really perfectly described their situation. They managed to actually produce a good tarot draw, and an absolutely faulty reading. I think where this got off the rails was they were participating in less rigid magical practices and as a result of fluffy bunny sloppiness, they literally read what they wanted to out of the cards instead of what the cards said. Turns out this is largely a reflection of a much broader problem where they had largely stopped taking advice in general from people who were concerned.

The terrible irony when I brought this up was they said, “You’re just reading your perspective into it”. I was holding the book in my hands and just about had a rage stroke. Yes I am reading my perspective into it, thats why you’re here.

When is it acceptable to read outside of the box? I am wholly for interpreting the rigid definition of whatever system someone is using. Using a thoth deck? Best consult Crowley. Using runes? Those have pretty strict definitions, as do Hebrew letter and Greek letters. Things get somewhat wobbly in geomancy, but bibliomancy? Bibliomancy has incredibly strong context opportunities. However what happens when we have something like radhio and turisaz overlapping? That one pretty much has the house definition of “flat tire”. That one is pretty obvious. How about pertho and thurisaz? Pregnancy. Gebo/pertho/thurisaz? Marriage because of a baby. Yeah try explaining that one with a straight face when it comes up. Are they horrified? Are they happy?

How do I know this? Am I some rune-master, chosen by Odin himself? I do have an excellent beard! Nope. I kept notes. Pretty mundane, except keeping notes allows you to notice when those sorts of things come up. Want to play along?

Pick a divination system. It could be tarot, it could be runes, but I would encourage you to pick one which is popular enough that people have published material on it. In my case, I at one point owned three copies of Odins Gateways. Great book. Someone once criticized it by saying, “Everything is really negative”. Yeah well if you lived in an era where starving to death or dying in combat was pretty much a yearly thing, you’d probably be a downer too. Pick something which compliments your mood. I generally am a pessimist, given that I work in IT, so I spend most of my time wondering what the users are going to disappoint me with next. At the same time, I really enjoy how Crowley writes, even if I disagree with him on some points of technique, so the Thoth deck has serious appeal to me.

Each morning, wake up. Clean your space, and ask, “How will my day go?” Write down what cards you get, take a picture, whatever. You’re capturing how the cards or runes or staves are laid out and their positions and their literal physical representation and presence. Once you have that, write down clearly a list of whats present, regardless of position. Next to that, fill out the definitions from whatever book or source you’re using without any interpretation. Finally, the fun part, make a guess what they mean.

At the end of the day, write down significant things. Just make a list. “Got a flat tire, spilled my coffee, found $20″. So long as you’re not using some shit mermaid deck, try to make some connections between the reading of the day, and what happened.

Last trick: If you’re using something like tarot and you can leave the cards out in your space, by all means leave them out. If you’re looking at them all day you’re probably going to try to “fit” the day to the cards, and that’s a different magical operation than trying to predict the day. If you leave the cards out somewhere you might see them, cover them up without disturbing them so at the end of the day when you’re editing your journal, you can go back to “that space” for a retrospective. If you’re using the runes, I’ve found the first throw is almost always “this is the here and now” and works like some acknowledgement of the present tense. You might want to make two throws and record them both and leave the last one for examination later.

The point is – don’t stop. Keep a daily divination journal along with a daily journal of your reading and asana and similar things and go back and read it. Heck, start a wordpress blog. I probably have hundreds of posts which are simply marked as unpublished because they record my progress and are notes (well indexed and searchable) for myself. Maybe some day my kids will think dad is insane and set them all to public and you can see them, or maybe this laptop will get locked in the false bottom of a chest and half consumed in a fire.

Astarte Altar

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I finished putting together the Astarte altar yesterday. The altar has it’s own dedicated stand about the circumference of a basketball, and it is covered in a green cloth. Behind her are roses in one of those foam cones, to spread out their leaves as a backdrop and give an impression of an arch of roses above her. In front lays roses in bloom, spread over seashells. Finally there’s an offering dish in front of that, which can hold a candle (rose scented) or whatever I deem appropriate. I may also put an oil diffuser in there. The statue itself is one of the classic renditions of Venus, sort of similar to the paintings which put her on a seashell, but she’s holding doves and other bird imagery. It doesn’t photograph well, not as I compare it to my recollection.

It sounds wonderfully mundane to write it out but it is absolutely inspiring in a darkened room. Its fairly rare that I put together some arts and crafts where I can sit there in silence and enjoy the effect, but after the last post on the Heart, I was thoroughly intoxicated if for a moment on the wonderful effect of the light, scent, and flowers. For future efforts I think some rose incense cones would be the way to fly. I’m fairly big on having the incense match the visuals of whatever we’re working with and Astarte is no exception. Roses conjure up romance and love and the scent is significant to us from an early age, so it certainly makes a strong candidate.

I was going to try to post a quote from Crowley, something about silence being the most pure form of worship and I can certainly understand why. The same for (depending on who you ask) the first or last Enochian key being silence. The Key of Silence is that push onto the astral which cannot be expressed or complimented by words, thoughts, or actions. Certainly the initial appreciation of the altar is absolutely a nod towards that key. Dumbfounded and awestruck literally at the experience, it is all encompassing and pure joy.

Trying to google for the quote, I ran into Crowleys Vision and Voice.

Stuff to track down later – 14 is Mot? 12 is Baal? 2 is Astarte Properly? It’s very back of the envelope at the moment but I feel like Crowleys vision of it could be lined up for some neat insights and interests. Specifically 2 speaks to me directly with Thors hammer and references to the archetypes. Again, not OTA cannon, but food for thought.

The Heart

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Recently there’s been a lot of meditation on the heart around here. The OTA has a task where the practitioner is supposed to build an altar to Astarte.

Right there – one simple sentence – kicked off a giant search for “What is Astarte?”

So really there’s two different models, there’s the erotic model and the goddess model. There’s plenty of erotic statues out there which are nothing more than carrying on the fine Japanese tradition of sexualizing girls of indeterminate age. While I realize there is a place for erotic art, this is not it. Unfortunately putting in female statue in amazon litters the results with such degeneracy. On the other hand, this one is sort of OK for invoking Astarte as goddess of the strip club. If I throw down a bunch of $5s on my altar, that’s the number of venus, which makes it OK, right? (Edit: that’s a joke about the local chaos scene, I’m aware seven is the number of venus).

One of my buddies rightly pointed out that the God (Baal) and Goddess (Astarte) should always be standing. He has excellent taste. I understand that there’s dancing with someone to cultivate romance and there’s dancing to cultivate eros, but the proper form for this is to romance the stone.

Separately, while trying to sort out this Astarte stuff, there was a bit of a shot across the bow. I was at a wedding and the DJ put on club music. My wife took it as a queue to dance like a stripper, which I don’t normally mind. Except this is a wedding and everyone’s parents are there, and suddenly it dawned on me that I’m at a wedding. The goal wasn’t to be erotic – as a male living in the internet age I will be the first person to attest to the fact that opening a web browser is almost a cheap erotic experience just how things are out there – but rather if we’re seeing union then the initial goal is romance. Assuming Astarte isn’t a total whore wholly lacking in discrimination, the romance comes first. (The groom’s mother said “Save that dancing for the bedroom!” – spoil sport).

That brings us to an interesting observation about polarity. I like Poke’s Master Mandala idea, and that the Angel controls the lower spirit. Therefor to work with Astarte, invoke Baal, and run from there. (This is not official OTA work, this is speculation on my part and should be understood as experimental). What does Baal do? For one, he’s a bit of a jock. Someone said that to me and I haven’t been able to kick the association especially considering there’s a fair bit of horseplay in the poetry. At least part of the daily practice then should be 10 minutes of GETTING SWOLE. Particularly the “four hour body” book has absolutely handy rituals, oops I mean 10 minute workouts, which dovetail (pun intended) into what could be worshipful practice. That nicely ties up what we should have on the altar too – roses, clearly. Even above and beyond the Venus association (green, seashells, doves, etc), the imagery should be romantic. As much as Baal is about getting swole (only to have his sick gains tossed aside by Mot), Astarte is about romance.

Around this time I also picked up Evola’s Magic book again. My on-call week had tanked anything that resembled personal work except in the most ascetic sense. Evola’s writing ranges from almost Crowleyean accusations to being subtle to the detriment of expression, and he has a chapter which deals directly with the heart which is on the subtle end of the scale. He says a lot of things I agree with, mostly that the emotional world is also the lowest of the worlds. But also in the book is that the heart is fundamentally masculine. That’s a neat idea. Why is it masculine? He is very careful to lay out the idea that there are feminine components to the heart unto itself, but in the system of the spiritual body, he says the heart is masculine and projective. There was an ah-ha moment here, because I’m reading a book.

As with everything in the Hermetic worldview, the layers of something alternate when they are individual and distinct components interacting with one and another. When we’re reading a book, or when we’re trying to scour the page for information, we are putting our intellectual faculties into a feminine, and receptive state. When we do this, the lower world of the heart can become inspired, and project that inspired emotion onto the work. Once we have that inspired emotion from our altar, we can flip the coin so to speak and let our minds understand the astral images without being colored by emotional judgement of these ideas. Really it’s the “stones in the river” meditation where thoughts come by acknowledged but without judgement, but Evola’s eloquent rendition of the topic affirms a deep understanding of the material while making it accessible.

The converse of this loop is equally true and interesting. As I setup my Astarte altar, I was wandering around Michaels Art Store chewing the fat with another person interested in the OTA. However at that moment, my intellect is the masculine, projective form. I think about the roses, where I place the candles, judgements about materials, my budget, and so on. Each of these colors the emotional experience and each configuration is held for a moment and judged for it’s worth and effects on my heart. Which of these “leads” magic? Neither. Emotional decision making leads to the tyranny of the mob and intellectual decision making leads to an isolation. If we say the heart leads magic, then we regret and by extension subtly loathe our altars when we spend too much money on the thing and deprive ourselves of food or some other thing our heart wants. On the other hand if our altars are so paltry that they fail to inspire, then we have impoverished the emotional components of magic. The trick is to have a marriage.

Landvættir and bergbúi, trees and rocks

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I just got back from holiday and one of the nice things about getting away with my wife is we’re both interested in magic, even if these sometimes seem to be for separate ends. While the vacation to New England certainly had it’s share of historical interest, I got a chance to sneak in some magic. The folks we met up there were also phenomenal. I won’t suffer the readers with another rant about the magical community at large but I think it’s a rare thing to be able to sit down with four different people who are all members of four different occult groups and not have a murder by the end of it. To be fair, the majority of us were also OTO members in addition to something else and I think that helps people get out of the fishbowl, so to speak.

Our campsite was technically “no smoking”, which means “go into the woods”. Perhaps ironically instead of providing a stone or grass area to smoke in, the policy only serves to push people into where the undergrowth would actually be a fire-hazard. Regardless, I managed to track down a boutique tobacco shop and while my wife was hanging out with the upline I ducked in and grabbed one of “their blends” of cigars. The Red Lion name wasn’t lost on me. It was probably a re-labeled La Aurora, the La Aurora white-pepper-and-leather is a dead giveaway to their middle of the line smoke but not bad. For whatever reason we had two hours to kill and my wife wanted to nap, so I decided to go walk around the woods and find a nice place to sit. Now, I don’t particularly think that every circle of stones is holy, and I actually think that finding such places is difficult at best. I also don’t think that landscaping is a substitute for a henge, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for places which feel right. The fun part was – I wasn’t looking right at the moment. I merely wanted a quiet place to sit down and dig into some reading.

I found a rock which looked pretty darn comfortable and sat down on it. The rock was cool, and it was smooth, and it was also round. I lit my cigar. While I was making sure the head of it would burn nicely, I happened to realize that none of the other stones in the area were round. They were all sort of craggy. This means the stone I was laying out on happened to be old. Much older than the rocks around it. I laid back in the sunlight and really soaked up the whole scene and noticed how pretty the light was as it filtered through the tree. I realized I was laying under an oak, which I didn’t recognize at first since those sorts of oaks don’t grow near me. As I laid there I also realized the forest animals weren’t particularly upset at my presence. I could hear children laughing and playing at the other campsites, but more immediately at hand were the noises of groundhogs pawing through the undergrowth and birds flitting about. I realized the stone had taken on sort of a hollow quality to it, so I decided to descend. While I meditated on the stone a bit, I didn’t particularly sense an individuality as much as one of the dwarves but more of a giant, sleeping body. However after establishing that no-one was home in the rock, or at least not actively interested in kicking me out, I realized that the stones were laid about under the oak in roughly a circle. Had someone come here before me? Perhaps, but the rocks were large, at least the sized of pumpkins, and covered in vines and roots. The “circle” wasn’t immediately obvious as a circle, but none the less was present.

This gave rise to an interesting idea. What if the sleeping rock wasn’t the home of a spirit, but rather a spiritual home? Was it mere coincidence that the rock was large enough for me to lay comfortably on? If the rock is the place of rest for my spirit, then who is in the circle? I became aware of the tree in the middle of the circle, which had not one, but two ‘doors’ made of healed callus’ on the bark. They seriously looked like doors. A bit of meditation later and I had decided that one old landvættir occupied the tall door and a younger one occupied the smaller door. The older one wasn’t terribly talkative but I did get a sense of acknowledgement. The younger one was bouncy like a ball and seemed happy. My gaze was drawn by the younger one into a square rock under a leaf I hadn’t previously noticed, but it was about the size of a cobblestone. It also had the unique feature of being one of the few rocks which didn’t have a ridiculous amount of growth pulling it down into the earth. A small electric tingle took me and I realized that whatever I happened to be hanging out with wanted the foot of the cigar and was willing to give me the rock (with the small, bouncy spirit) to come home with us. I thought it would be a fun thing and I knew just where I was going to put the rock, so I put the cigar in the larger door and brought up the rock with me into the larger stone.

About this time my wife wandered into the clearing after figuring out where I was (probably by scent alone). I explained why I hadn’t gotten any reading done and why I was playing with rocks, and said it was a natural grove. She didn’t jive with it at first, and grabbed the tree, but didn’t sense anything. I had her stick her hand on the large door and she went cold, and got goosebumps. She thought it was neat but wanted dinner, so we didn’t hang out much longer. However on our way out she wanted to know why I was lugging around this rock, so I handed it to her. Goosebumps again.

Anyway, the rock now lives outside our house under one of our ash trees, which also has a ‘door’ in it similar to the one the oak had. It is probably the most fun thing we took home from vacation, I plan on having the magically inclined folks handle it for fun when they’re over (provided they don’t know the story).

Julius Evola

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I recently discovered Julius Evola and I think he is fantastic. His book on Hermeticism is top notch and covers all the normally ignored topics like Ares of Mercury or Moon of Mercury for the notation of alchemical symbols. Know how many times I’ve seen that in a book? Maybe twice, at best. I believe Frater Albertus mentions it in some of his books on alchemy but the Celestial Crowns are typically ignored or only hinted at. I realize if someone is familiar with Golden Dawn magic this should be seem obvious, but I believe Evola was running in the same circuit as Crowley and the same cultural environment.

To that end, Crowley’s version of the ego was to satisfy it with something until he became sick of it, and Evola argues for a more classical, bhuddist style of nondesire. Evola also wrote a few cultural books, the best known being Ride the Tiger, but his cultural commentary isn’t the backbone of what I’m interested in. I don’t, for instance, feel that jazz is a bad thing. I do believe that with his other work, he saw in Italy where the US is today where he isn’t arguing for Conservatism, but more for Traditionalism. In a left-right, republican-or-democrat model this is easy to confuse, but realizing that they’re the same face of the coin and nothing really changes in the broad arc of history is really how to frame it up. Rather than the nominal march towards losing a country’s cultural identity, he argues for a sort of benevolent fascism, where some sort of ‘Ministère de la Culture et de la Francophonie’ (to borrow the French) is supposed to maintain the identity of the nation. Obviously the EU does a poor job of it, but it’s neat to see the political application of hermetic philosophy. Some might even say it’s downright Dee. Evola realizes that if the nation is a melting pot, it ends up being like soup on the stove too long. The noodles melt into starchy paste and the meat dissolves into gelatine and the final product is so homogenous that we cannot identify individual elements. Rather than having a melting pot, Evola argues (by condemnation) that it’s far better to retain individual preferences and identity and use the government to enforce those differences between states.

Evola feels like Crowley, especially the rock climbing, if Crowley had been more politically involved on the national level and not the individual level. While I think I prefer Crowleys Classical Liberalism (“libertarian” in today’s words), I can see what Evola is arguing against, especially being on this side of World War 2.

I would highly suggest reading the Hermetic book first, then starting in on the rest of his stuff. That’s where I’m at. The Hermetic book is dense enough I’ll probably end up reading it through two or three times. The only rub is the Greek is not annotated, so bring along a Greek dictionary. Also hat tippy – Mircea Eliade. Apparently Eliade stuck more towards comparative themes in religions trying to line up sacred truths and Evola was a fan, so there’s a bit of overlap there. While Eliade doesn’t make overt political or cultural commentary the way Evola does, Poke definitely takes a hat tip there for allegorical stories.

Mead of Sacrament

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The new wordpress UI sucks and ate one of my posts.

So the long and short of it is we’re going to be doing more arts and crafts, which has been part of the two week plus quiet period on the blog. I joined the OTA, and while it’s not 100% a fit for me and I have no idea how I’m going to get to Georgia to get promoted (or worse, California), they’re still a decent good folk. Poke is one of the few people who have made changes to the Gnostic Mass or the grimoires and I feel like they’re reasonably well done. Case in point, he substitutes wine, which he says is the symbol of death, with honey, which he says is a symbol of life. I tend to agree, and I really like the symbolism of the beehive (for masonry). Also been a long time fan of the hermetic hour. We’ll see how much tread the OTA has on it. This isn’t to say it’s not worth studying the crap out of the grimoires. It’s entirely worth it, and it’s entirely rewarding to understand the cabalistic symbolism in, say, the circle of solomon. I will probably continue doing traditional work along those lines by putting tape on the floor. To that end, I wanted to throw together some mead that wasn’t just honey mixed with Bicardi 151. That’s gross, don’t make that.

We have a few options. In the Eddas, and I recently bought Northern Planet Lore, we have the mead of poetry, the mead of inspiration, the mead of song, and so on. I could make this mead according to the guide in the book and come up with something similar to the Black Arts Foundry, but I strongly object to the use of drugs among the people who don’t expect to be intoxicated in that way. One of the local wicca groups here adulterates their wine, and one of the longrunning facebook lols has been a few folk who think that being a druggie makes someone a sage. Nope. While it could be done by making a mugwort tea, that might be for inner circle, fully informed and consenting adult stuff later. While making a mead of song might be appropriate later, I’m trying to keep it mainstream enough folks will willingly drink it.

So what I really need to make is a melomel. There’s about 20 types of mead and all of them are house blends, but if you pick up a homebrew book, you’re going to run into Braggots (Honey + Beer), Mead (Honey, or Honey+Water), Cyser (Honey + Apples), and Melomels (Honey + Fruit, but sometimes called cyser anyway). I actually don’t like cyser, every one I’ve run into in homebrew circles has been a result from someone trying to ferment cheap honey and boosting it with cane sugar. Cane sugar actually makes really good cider which tastes exactly like Woodchuck when force carbonated, which I suppose says a lot about Woodchuck. Cysers like this usually come from honey-bear mead, which is mead made with the ubiquitous North American Honey Bear.

I make shit mead, don’t use me.

That stuff is usually honey flavoring and water and sugar, with no actual honey. What sort of magickal stuff will this produce? Nothing at best, and it won’t taste very good to boot.

What do you really need to make sacramental honey beverages?

It’s food safe.

For starters (lol brewing joke) you need a fermentation vessel that’s food safe. I got this years ago for making giant batches of wine, it’s a 15 gallon trash can, but what’s neat about it is I wrote “food safe” on the side, so it’s food safe. No actually it’s #4 plastic. If it just has the recycling symbol on it, avoid it, but if it has the recycling symbol on it and a number from 1-6 inside of it, then it’s food safe-ish. #4 just means it’s more prone to taking on odor than I would like but given sufficient time to air out, it’ll be OK. What’s that gross looking pint? That’s Wyeast 1272, out of an IPA I just made.  If there’s one thing you want to splurge on for this, it’s the yeast. Trust me. Buy one packet of Wyeast 1272 either mail order or from your homebrew store, buy a big spoon from the homebrew store (top right) and a packet of champaign yeast (or bread yeast).

Hm, what else do we need?

Fruit! Honey!

OK I know I just admonished everyone for using honey bears, but read the label, sometimes you find a deal. In this case, the honey on the left is actually legit honey, 3 lbs per bottle. The label says “Ingredients: Honey” and nothing else. It also had the crystal stuff on the bottom (I didn’t take a picture of) which means it’s legit and a pain to work with. Going left to right, you’ll see name-brand juices. This is important, as name-brand juices tend to have a lot more juice. If I wanted to go all out, I could have bought frozen fruit and mashed it up, but that’s expensive and time consuming and usually promotes mold. Don’t do it until you understand the brewing process.

Wash and clean the fermenter (trashcan), throw the yeast in first, and get pouring.

It’s a lovely color. Look at how I’m pouring it, this adds oxygen. Your yeast are going to need as much as they can get in this particular situation. I’m not above using an aquarium pump and stone to add oxygen, but since we’re making fairly well rounded, slightly watered down stuff, it’s probably OK to just pour aggressively. We’ll stir it up in a minute.

Alright so now you’ve got all the juice in there, the yeast you want to use, but we need the honey. Add it now. When you’re done with a bottle, put a pint glass of water in the microwave for a minute or so to make it warm but not hot, and add it to the bottle of honey. Put the cap on and shake it up. You’re getting the honey into suspension and adding oxygen. Pour those into the mix.

Yike, what’s this? Yup, it’s a mix of the yeast on the bottom, the honey, and the juice on top. You can see that the juice looks like a blush wine at this point, but we need to get that honey up. Use the big spoon to aggressively stir. This is going to be a theme of the week, the secret to making decent mead is to keep stirring it the first week. Once a day, open the top of the fermenter, and stir the crap out of it so it doesn’t look like this. If you see a colored band on the bottom, open it and stir it.

This will be ready in one month, so October is going to have a nice fall mead to drink.

Finally, taste it. If you like how it turned out, run with it. It should be (depending on the yeast) about 5% ABV. If you think it’s too sweet, or syrupy, add the champaign yeast and stir the crap out of it again. This will cause it to foam, but this will also dry it out in about a week. This will also double the alcohol. Bread yeast will add appley flavors to it, champaign yeast tends to be pretty neutral stuff.

Occult considerations:

I blessed the mead when I finished it as a new child would be baptized.

The mead was brewed up on Monday during the hour of Sol. If that doesn’t get the juices flowing for pagan sorts of stuff, I don’t know what will.

The lunar day is 8. Per Globa:

Symbol – phoenix. The day of penance, absolution, purification by fire, alchemy. One can fast, purge one’s stomach and intestine. It is good to prepare remedies for all illnesses. One should not be dissolute or egoistic.

The moon is currently in Sagittarius:

Generosity, openness, optimism and the desire to give advice and share experience are all increased. There is a heightened interest in travel and foreign countries, and any activities and recreations taking place in the open air. You may, however, be over-confident and may not have a good grasp of practicalities. It is a suitable time for large-scale plans but not for any occupations which require attention to detail.

In the body, Saggitarius rules hips and thighs.

Because mead, especially sack mead, makes you fat.

The lunar mansion is 20, which is ruled by Venus, so this is an excellent time to make a sweet drink for this. The aspect of God is the “Life Giver”, which I particularly read as a fortunate time to take on this project.

We also have fairly nicely balanced occult ingredients here. We have clover honey, which in three leaves is the scale of the trinity, and with four leaves is the elements themselves. We have the apples, which traditionally represent life and sustenance. We have grapefruit, which isn’t winey, but it is citrusy, which represents the sun itself. Finally we have cranberries, which I was trying to avoid wine while still having something tannic. I think I’ve managed to make a decent compromise between winey (death) and blood (the carrier of life) without getting too close to the death side.

Choronzon Coffee Club #2

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What have I been up to? Hosting coffee clubs, real life discussions, etc. To enjoy this, I humbly suggest reading the notes.

Standard disclaimer applies – these are less formal, bite sized pieces of internet lore where we try to add to the general magical knowledge of the community, make fun of various people near and dear to our hearts, and generally hang out and have a good time. It is not formal instruction.

This Actually Makes Me A Bit Sad…

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A long time ago, in a galaxy… Oh to hell with it, it was last year, the Grey School linked to my blog.

Thus began a particularly interesting exchange. I’m going to paraphrase, because I don’t have a copy of the mail, and it was before the contact page was really up. I have a love-hate relationship with my contact page, but I generally think it’s a positive thing. People rarely comment on the blog, because I make it easy to get ahold of me. What is particularly enriching about that is that people who normally wouldn’t dare say they practice magic along with people who don’t want to consult a magician (in public) generally write me really heartfelt messages.

I hope people are familiar with the blog at this point, for the new subscribers, I post things which I think are OK for public consumption. Oftentimes I post about once a week to summarize things. I practice more than I write in public form, and those posts are only visible to me. The log here is when I’m speaking to a small set of people who stumbled into this, and sometimes I post videos of hangouts. I’m not really braggy, but I do solicit feedback from people who ask me to do things.

The point is – it’s free. I recognize a need on the internet to help people, and I recognize the need on the internet for what amounts to a free religious sounding board. I don’t charge money, but that also means I’m free to tell people “nope”. I don’t link to any blogs or sell any products. I am my own island, I like it, and oftentimes I neglect posting anything to the public.

Last year, the Grey School linked me. In fact, they linked to a post about the Goetia, which I’ve really come around to the idea that the OTA does it correctly where the spirits themselves bend a knee to the angels. I’m not going to fill it up with philosophical flowers tonight but the bottom line was that the particular post in question made me a bit nervous because out of context from the narrative arc, it could be read as straight up magical warmongering. This was before I had figured out the nuance required to apply the enochian heptarchy correctly and to good effect.

Being able to read only the first post, the effect was “This guy hasn’t had any problems with the goetia, why such a bad reputation?”

OK I could write entire essays on the perception of the goetia versus the operation of the goetia versus why I think it works the way it works and why I believe spirits have objective realities and existences. Starting with the fact that if we truly believe that other magicians have worked with them to no ill effect, why do they seem to generate ill effects when used in certain ways?

They’re all valid questions, but I really felt like I should have a discussion with this guy, and I felt like I should actually make myself available to give some context to the entire discussion. Linking to small snippets on the blog is as annoying as people who quote scripture out of context. I wrote the school a letter saying, “Hey, I saw you linked to me, and I saw the person had some questions, I would love to sit in on the discussion and discuss why I think it went the way it did and how to improve things”.

A few days went by (at the time I was unemployed and doing computer consulting work to make ends meet) and I got an email back. The person didn’t sign it and it was from a generic “info” mail address. They wrote:

“If you would like to join our forums, you can join the GREY WIZARDING SCHOOL by sending a check or money order to…”

Best of luck buddy. I would have done it for free.

Recharged

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Thanks to everyone who wrote me “thanks” and offered to do healings in their own way. I recently had a chance to spend some time with my family and a good amount of time just wandering around the woods and my soul is soothed and my constitution restored from the experience.

Stuff that didn’t work: Too many requests. I felt obligated to help everyone, and that’s a trap. While it’s noble to try to heal the world, there’s only so much your average working class magician can accomplish. The big problem with that is, aside of me burning out, the magic starts to feel generic. It’s like people praying as children, “Jesus please help Ron, Bill, Mark, Rick, John, Frank, Don, Richard, the other Richard, Bill who goes by William, and Chad with their herpes…” OK it’s great that they’re getting mentioned, but really, how much magic is actually going to those people? Maybe it’s just me, but when I go to the Doctor’s office, I expect the Doctor’s individual time. The whole thing sort of wandered into cheap territory. I did make a few pit stops for people who I felt had it particularly bad or had some illness I felt hit close to home, but overall, I felt like I could have done better.

Stuff that did work: A select few people actually took time to write me back, and out of those, a few of them (two) wrote me to say they actually could chart their improvements. That’s really encouraging. I kept sparse notes on who I was doing what for and anything which stood out to me in particular, but feedback is a serious help for divination and working in general. I really do appreciate feedback.

 

I am beat

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I am beat from doing so many healings.

I refuse to accept money for magic. Period.

I am now no longer accepting healing requests.

The last one I did was trying to save some kids from Lyme Disease. It hit close to home because like many people, I’ve got it too.

I love you all, but please stop.

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