Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cats going to the vet today

Two cats are going to the vet today. One is getting fixed, and both are being tested for FL (hopefully they do not have it---if they do: they will have to be put to sleep). Both are sweet boys that were abandoned.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Whole Nutmeg

There are times that I really notice that I am a wicca and ceremonial magician.

Yesterday, my wife and I were at Whole Foods (formerly Wild Oats) shopping. And in the spice aisle, I spotted a jar of whole (non-ground) nutmeg.

My first thought was "What type of spell or incense would you use nutmeg for?"

It was not "What type of recipe would that be good for?" or "How would you grind that up?"

No, my mind went directly towards the estoric. Kinda scary, isn't it?

(And for the record: yes, I did buy it. Now, I just need to figure out what I am going to use it for.)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Color and Vault study 2000 (Part One) Venus Wall

This is part of a study of the color scales and the Vault of the Adepts that was done in 2000. It was not the world's best study, nor is it the best scan on earth. This is the Venus Wall of the Vault. Original is drawn in color pencil on the back of a large index card, and is part of my personal baseline (however wrong that is).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fall schedule

Well, after putting it off for a couple of weeks (or is it months at this point?), I finally registered for Fall 2009 classes (University of Colorado at Denver). I am taking:

Chemistry for the Consumer
Bible as Literature
Gothic Literature
Colorado History

I thought about taking basic biology instead. But I never did take high school chemistry, and I already own a biology textbook. And the Chemistry for the Consumer class is a in-home lab using household chemicals; ok, maybe that is not a good idea.

Both the chemistry and Bible class are lower division classes (I have to take another science if I want to graduate). The other two are upper division classes. I registered too late to take the Critical Essay class, but I just do not feel like doing it this semester. Especially considering I am going to have to read the Bible, or at least parts of it.

My exposure to the Bible was the Big Little Book of Bible Stories as a kid (my wiccan aunt gave me more religious training than my parents did), and the occasional bit that I have read as a Golden Dawn based kabbalist. I do not recognize Bible quotes when I run across them in literature. Hopefully, the class will help me as a writer, literature student, history student, and kabbalist.

I am taking the Gothic Literature because I want to; same with the Colorado History class (though that one may be research for a work of fiction that I have kicked around occasionally).

But part of all, I have no morning classes. This is really going to help me get some writing done this coming semester. Now all I have to do is decide who I want to annoy with my writing this fall; you know that I am going to annoy someone; after all, I am ME!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

RIP Charlie

To add to the troubles of this week, on Thursday, we had to take one of the cats to the vet. Charlie had gotten injuried in a cat fight and the wound was not healing. Given the fact that she was eighteen years plus in age, we decided that putting her to sleep was more merciful than attempting mutliple operations and trying to keep the other cats away from her. I ended up crying a lot; after all, she was one of my cats and I had her for eighteen plus years. RIP Charlie.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Computer Crash of June 2009

Yesterday was the only day this month that I did not have my wife, or someone else, scheduled to interrupt my workday as a writer.

So what happens...

Yep, that is right. A computer crash. Some dll got corrupted and Windows would not start; I was forced to hit system recovery.

So an eight hour writing day, a bunch of free time, and I have finally got Windows back up to date; my anti-virus reinstalled; two of my web browsers back up and MSN messenger.

I have yet to get the printer driver installed. Nor have I set up a different user section for my wife (mainly because she needs different settings for her Spanish homework and iTunes). And I haven't even thought about trying to recover my own files.

So I am at least a couple of more days away from doing any more writing.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Who are the readers of book reviews?

Today, I was reading a comment that someone made about my review of Magic Squares and the Tree of Life; it reminded me how hard it is to write book reviews and please everybody (the same holds for articles, lessons, and books).

Especially if you are trying to address the entire range of possible readers.

In the case of this book, the range was from true neophyte to advanced adept. Any review that excludes a section of the audience is incomplete, but any review that attempts to be complete is going to upset those who do not realize that you are trying to address the review towards the entire audience.

I will admit with this review I leaned towards the complete neophyte. Of course, part of the reason for that is it takes time to create a magic square of this size, and months (if not years) to properly evaluate whether it actually delivers.

And in the end, this is the review that I think needed to be written. It is not the adept that needs to be warned that this book is an instruction manual requiring a lot of work to be completed; it is the complete neophyte that needs to know that their money is better spent elsewhere.

Maybe I made the wrong call, but I stand behind the review I wrote.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What we did at the OFM

For those of you who are curious, here is a brief summary about what my fellow lodge members, friends, and myself did at the Open Full Moon ritual on Friday night.

After setting up, some friendly conversation (I have not seen a couple of my friends in ages) and community announcements, it was Bast Temple and friends' turn to be in the spotlight.

I started off with stating who I am and what Bast Temple is. Then I talked some about why the Egyptian lore in Golden Dawn is outdated and why it does not matter (mythology v function).

Then I did the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. After this, the circle (hall) was purfied and consecrated by water and fire. The calling of the quarters were done after this.

For the calling of the quarters, we had five variations of Bast. I had made a paper doll for each aspect, along with varying the call itself.

An example of one of the quarter calls:

Hail Bast and the guardians of the watchtower of the East, protectors and lords of Air. Strengthen the element of Air in us and guide us in its ways. Tonight help us build a connection to the hidden intelligence of the Ancient Egyptian deities and the godforms that they inspired. Lead us to a greater understanding of the hidden genius that underlies the rituals. So mote it be!

As each quarter was called, I spiraled around the altar, carrying the respective Bast doll to its quarter. For the center (the "fifth quarter"), I merely lifted the doll and said the call before setting it down again. (ZAMs will recognize the pattern here.)

After this, I started the second part of the lecture. I talked about how Golden Dawn chose one function out of the range of aspects for a god (goddess) as their baseline and primary function for the godforms. I touched upon the fact that godforms were used in Golden Dawn as a power source for ritual and magic. I also pointed out that the Ancient Egyptians used the imagery of gods to empower spells (for instance, the use of the form of Osiris for the shabti).

Then came the fun part. I had the daughter of one of the lodge's members hand out to each person present a paper doll in the form of one of the godforms used by Golden Dawn. "No trading. No complaining. Trust the child [to give you the god/goddess that you need to work with]."

She did a real good job; the right god ended up with the right person.

Then people drew on and colored the paper dolls, including symbols for what type of working they needed.

(I am thinking about making a low cost Lulu pdf of the godform dolls; I think other people will find them useful.)

Then we dismissed the quarters.

Thank you Bast and the guardians of the watchtower of the East, protectors and lords of Air, for your presence here tonight. May there always be a bond of peace, harmony and instruction between us. Hail and farewell!

And had animal crackers and apple juice ("cakes and ale").

"Merry meet. Merry part. Merry meet again!"

So that is what happened at the June Bast Temple led Open Full Moon ritual.

Now, I just have to come up with an idea for next June's OFM.

Joined Bukisa

Now that I am done with the Open Full Moon ritual, I finally had time to do a couple of things that I have been putting off.

I checked my grades: two As (Shakespeare; History: Theory and Practice), one A- (Literature: Cather Willa) and one B+ (Rome: City and Empire). I am going to have to go online later and see if I can figure out what is up with my aid for the fall semester.

On the writing end, I am working on three book reviews.

And I finally got around to joining Bukisa. An online writer friend told me about the site a couple of months ago, but I just did not have time to go look at it until today.

Bukisa is another site that you can post articles to and earn income from. It reminds me of Associated Content except that you can earn referral income from Bukisa, a whole three levels worth. There are no upfront payments, but the rate for thousand unique pageviews is higher than Associated Content. The payout threshold is ten dollars, payable though Paypal (net plus 30). The site is open to non-US residents.

Bukisa may be worth the time for an online writer to check out. One knows that those who are good at getting referrals are going to flock to it, simply because they will do better there than on Helium and Associated Content.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Scary thought of the day

Given the fact that one can develop one’s energetic bodies though the use of imagery and ritual on one’s own, and that any set of symbols can be used for this work, one is confronted with a harsh reality: for the esoteric Orders to have any value, either there must be a tremendous advantage to being a member of an Order or a terrible disadvantage of being the sole compass of your spiritual development. Otherwise, the esoteric Orders are nothing more than a shiny object designed to fleece the gullible.

Will talk more later...

Tired. Not a surprise. I did the OFM ritual last night. I think that it went rather well. Will talk more about it later.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Final dash to prepare for the OFM ritual

Tonight is the Open Full Moon ritual that I am leading. And there is still so much work to do. Fortunately, the most time consuming parts should be already done. I hope.

I did manage to get some of the remaining work done yesterday, despite being so bone tired and taking a part of the day off.

This ritual is either going to turn out to be really fun or really horrible. I am not sure which one I should bet on. I think it will lean towards fun for everyone, but myself. Then again, I am just going to remember the mistakes and none of the successes; it is a habit I have; blame that Virgo sun sign.

And I will see some of you at the OFM. I am looking forward to this OFM and sharing with you some of the lessons that I have been learning.

Wish me luck at finishing my props in time.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Making progress towards the OFM

I made a bunch of progress towards Friday's Open Full Moon ritual yesterday. Finished off the quarter calls, and drew the Bast dolls for them (still need to color them later today). Based on how tired I feel, I know that I am putting a lot of energy into this OFM. As I have said before: it will either be a really fun ritual or a really horrible ritual.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yahoo 360 closing down

I recieved a notice in my email about Yahoo 360 being closed on July 13th. And honestly, it made me laugh.

For a brief period, I was actually doing an official (as in me speaking as a GD officer) blog on 360. It was not a success. The problem with it is that it would take me longer to write an entry there than it would take me to write a couple thousand word article.

I believe that the reason that it would take so long is simply the word "official". The question that I was always asking was "Do I want people to hear this coming out of my mouth?" Well, moreso than normal.

So I quit doing it. I was having more fun doing this blog and my writing blog. And when Yahoo announced that they were closing 360 in December 2008, I just posted an announcement that I was blogging here in an unofficial manner.

Now they are finally closed and erasing the stuff from 360. I say good for them, but I have so moved on.

[The entries from the official blog have been archived; I might chose to republish some of them here later; it is not like you are really missing anything.]

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rainy day

Well, yesterday I managed to get four hours of gardening done. Transplanting some plants (the motherwort has gone wild), pulling some weeds and putting some plants into the ground.

During the same time, I managed to write the center call and the southern quarter call for the June 5th OFM.

I am probably not going to make any progress today. I am stuck inside because of the rain, and my wife is talking loudly on the phone, cleaning and just generally distrubing my thought processes. *sigh*