Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The cheapest set of Enochian Chess pieces ever!

I proud to own the cheapest and cheesiest set of Enochian Chess pieces ever! Ok, maybe they are not the cheapest and cheesiest, but they have to be in the running, right? I created them with a couple cheap plastic chess sets from Target, with some model paint used to color code them (I used green for earth because brown on brown did not stand out enough for my tastes which leans towards gaudy; plus there is some ZAM and THAM teachings that support the color scheme). I am fairly sure that the coloring pattern is self-explainatory.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Color study 2000 (Part Thirteen) Color Scales on the Tree of Life

I believe that these are self explainatory. As with the rest of this 2000 study, these were done with colored pencils on the back of index cards.

Color and Vault study 2000 (Part Twelve) Vault Wall Masterkey

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 masterkey for the coloring of the Vault Walls. 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).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Slow News Day

Gee, it must be a slow news day, or perhaps week. As a writer, I notice the silliness that comes out when there is no real news to talk about.

I must admit that I saw this particular silly season coming. A few weeks ago, one of my lodge members sent me a link to a site that said that everyone in Golden Dawn is involved in a global conspiracy.

Well, almost everyone. There were a couple of the up-and-coming leaders who were not tarred and feathered.

What amused me most was that Zink was associated with a video that Griffin actually did. But other than that the site was not newsworthy.

Let's see: Global conspiracy---check.

Anonymous poster---check.

Bad photoshop---check.

And drum roll please: Outcry and finger pointing---check.

Next, we will get a new demand that the Golden Dawn leadership control what their members are saying.

(And I will end up blogging about the freedom of the press…an moldy oldie for me.)

Yep, we are officially in a slow GD news cycle.

I wonder how upset Darcy would be if I post some of his bylaw and regulation book under "fair use", and spend some time talking about it.


Morgan bored by the silliness---double check.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My own personal Golden Dawn background

Given some of the recent discussions I have had lately, ones where I found myself looking at things completely differently than everyone else, it might be useful to remind people that my personal background in Golden Dawn is perhaps not what they expect it to be.

Like many people, I got drawn into the occult when I was young. My parents raised me without any religion; there was a conflict over what religion I should be raised in, and the compromise was none.

But I was exposed to some religion, one that my mom (in hindsight regrets that I was exposed to, especially after she became born again). My aunt was a Gardnerian; like a fool, I followed suit becoming an initiate of one of the offshoots of the Craft in my late teens/early twenties.

(My mom blames wicca, along with a couple of other things, for her sister's death. In her book, me and my aunt are not wiccans, but outright satanists. It is hard to be a satanist when you do not believe in that entity or his enemy; or at least, I do believe in the same sense as a Christian does. I believe that there are unbalanced spiritual entities out there; I just chose not to worship them.)

I have belonged to a few covens in my time, along with study circles, healing circles, and the odd Golden Dawn lodge. I have also belonged to a few groups that score high on the cult evaluation form. I was actually expelled from a couple of these, including one where I was stripped of my degree by someone of a lesser degree than myself (basically, I refused to do something illegal after they seized control of the group; they thought I should follow their every order; hence, my ongoing battle with willfulness made me unfit for all fair society).

Being told that you are unfit for fair society allows one to look at things differently. For instance, I know that there is potential for cult-like behavior in Golden Dawn. And I will not keep this a secret, even when high superiors tell me that this must never be admitted.

I am also a journalist (sort of). I believe in the freedom of the press. One of the first things that a bad leader does is try to control what is being said about them (and others). I have a soapbox; I am going to use it (even if it is only to write bad book reviews).

But the thing that one needs to know the most about me is that I did not start off as a book learned member of Golden Dawn. Before I walked into Golden Dawn, I knew as much about the system as is contained in Kraig's Modern Magick. In fact, it was my carrying that book in public that caused me to come to the attention of a member of Hathoor Temple.

I was harassed for six months (or tested if you prefer that term), brought in and promptly made an officer. At the time, the lodge was in distress. They were trying to find a replacement for one of their long standing officers; hence, my experience of being ran though the mill.

For those who have not experienced this, imagine undergoing the rituals and teachings of an esoteric system, both as a student and an officer at the same time. As quickly as you move up the Grade ladder, you are also moved up the Officer ladder. People wonder why I dropped out after Hathoor Temple closed: I was simply burnt to a crisp.

It is due to this experience that I look at the Golden Dawn system differently. So differently that often I will back out of a conversation rather than try to convince people that I might know what I am talking about. I did not learn the system though papers and books: I learned it from a script while trying to figure out where I was supposed to be standing.

My experience was hands-on. Studying the papers came later. And Hathoor Temple (along with the Inner Order mentors that I came into contact with later) often disagreed with the published material. For me, the published material is always going to be a touch wrong.

I am also a touch suspicious of anyone shouting "Lineage!" or "Secret Chief!" Here in Denver Colorado, a place that had four GD lodges active in the late eighties/early nineties, we have never had any help from the outside. We have been on our own for quite some time doing the best that we can. In my opinion, it is a little late to suggest that we need help.

So to sum it up: I have been involved in too many groups that were on their own; I come from a non-Christian religion (hence I do not think that GD is a Christian Order [Hathoor sure wasn't; Bast Temple sure isn't]); I have suffered at the hands of bad leadership; I learned hands-on using scripts that disagree with the published material; and I believe in the freedom of the press.

If I wasn't already declared unfit for all fair society, the combination would get me be expelled.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Open Full Moon Dates for the rest of 2009

Open Full Moon Dates for 2009

Oct 02
Nov 6
Nov 27

There is no OFM for December 2009.

Meets at the First Unitarian Churchat 14th and Lafayette, Denver Colorado
Doors open at 7 pm.Ritual starts at 7:30 pm.

Suggested donation: 5 dollars.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Color and Vault study 2000 (Part Eleven) Luna 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 Luna (Moon) 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).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Equinox!

Happy Equinox!

Where has the summer gone?

And just in time for the equinox, cool weather. Or should I say cold---the next few nights, my tomatoes are in danger of freezing and I have only gotten one ripe one this year so far. Not to mention that the pumpkins are no where near being ready.

And the lesson? Only plant herbs. Especially catnip---it can be harvested even after a cold snap.

Remember: you can never have enough catnip. Or at least that is what the Secret Chiefs tell me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fun Equinox ritual planned

An interesting side lecture and exercise is going to happen this Equinox meeting at my local (Denver) Golden Dawn lodge, Bast Temple.

Over on Martin's yahoo forum (he runs the show), the Golden Dawn Group, Pat Zalewski (who is only a loud guest there; he is also Martin's mentor) has been talking about how the zodiac matches up to the floor of the Neophyte Hall.

Now his theory puts the zodiac in a position that as a Wiccan I would not have considered on my own. He also has it rotating in the opposite direction than we are accustomed to.

I have followed his reasoning up to a point, mainly though hints and some information from both my current and previous Inner Order mentors. I have also traced down some published support of his theory.

One of the things that is going to happen at the Equinox meeting is that Pat's theory is going to be explained to the members attending; then as we go though the ritual, we are going to be watching for points that confirm or denies his theory.

It should be interesting to see whether or not, the lodge though our working, Pat's theory holds up.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Earlier this month, I had a comment on one of my blog entries saying that she (Kate) wished that she could give it a simple thumbs up like we do on facebook (without having to leave an actual comment).

And I understood exactly what she was saying. There are times I wish that option was available also.

I have a friend whose blog I have quit commenting on because he wants comments, and good comments at that: no repeating what other people have said, constructive and insightful comments. I rarely comment on his blog simply because of time schedules, I am like the twentieth comment (and it is hard work to come up with something that he will tolerate from me). He hates (or maybe loathes) what I am about to suggest to my own readers.

If you want to give me a thumbs up, but do not want to leave a full comment, just say "RAEBNC."

For those people who have never been a member of an amateur press association (APA): RAEBNC is shorthand for "Read and enjoyed, but no comment."

Interestingly enourgh, the same APA that I picked up an appreciation for RAEBNC is the same place that my friend picked his hatred for the term. But in all fairness, we were at different places in our development as writers when we were members of that APA (Phoenix---a science fiction/fantasy APA).

Go ahead and RAEBNC me; I won't be insulted.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is this a two by clue?

The big question of the day for me: Does recieving the same occult book again when you are positive that you ordered something else constitute a hint that despite one's time crunch that one should really be working with it?

Yes, I recieved a duplicate book yesterday in the mail. I believe that it is simply a messed up order, but one always like to be sure about these things.

The universe I live in starts off with subtle hints, and then works its way up to two by clues (a phrase stolen from a friend).

When I ordered a copy of this book the first time, I looked at it and said "I do not have time to properly work though this at this time." I am looking at the second copy with the same feeling.

Now I do plan on working with it...but I am not sure if I should give it a higher priority number or not.

For the record, I do feel that I am guided. Some of my earliest magics as an occultists was book finding magic. But I am not sure in this instance.

In this case, it may not be my luck, just a bad shipping center. I did have to complain about my order not shipping once already.

(For the record, I am not going to name the publisher, the book, or the shipping center. I used to run a business; I know how easily mistakes happen.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spirit Ways is 12!

I am always interested in occult stores. Here in Denver, one of the more interesting ones, in my opinion, is Spirit Ways over on 3301 E. Colfax Avenue.

For those who have never been in the neighborhood, let me describe it. Across the street is a liquor store, a karate school, and a bar. Down just a couple of blocks is a 7-11. Oh, right next door is the Bluebird Theatre, and an adult entertainment store.

It is an interesting place to drop an occult store.

And this Saturday, September 19th, Spirit Ways is celebrating their 12th anniversary. Happy birthday Spirit Ways!

I first met the owner, Nancy, when she was working over at Herbs and Arts, another occult shop here in Denver. Then she and another person started Spirit Ways. My wife, Toni, used to do business with them when she was making pottery; actually, there are still a couple of pieces of Toni's pottery over there.

(The reason Toni is no longer making pottery is a full time job in elementary education and the pursuit of a second Bachelor degree. She may or may not someday resume making pottery.)

I may or may not drop in to Spirit Ways on Saturday to see what is going on (I understand that they are going to be doing some fun stuff with the kids as well as a special drum circle that night); it all depends upon how caught up I am by then.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Secret Chiefs are not amused

It has recently came to the attention of the Secret Chiefs that some Adepts think that the image of a set of dog balls on a cat is an appropriate image to describe something that is obvious. The Secret Chiefs are not amused.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 and Denver esoteric groups

Over the last few days as we have approached the anniversity of 9/11, I have been thinking about how the Denver community dealt with 9/11.

At the time, I was in one of my public phrases (I drift in and out of the local community as the mood stucks me). So I was taking public classes over at Quantum Alchemy, besides dealing with Bast Temple.

(At this point, I think that I was no longer involved with the Thelemic Golden Dawn.)

Due to my work schedule, and travel habits (I do not drive due to the fact that moving vehicles set off my migraines which is why none of you ever see me at any of the bigger occult gatherings), I was walking to work that morning.

And it felt like a Sunday in downtown Denver (we fold up the sidewalks here), there were no one about that morning. It wasn't until I walked into the food court that I realized that it wasn't just a slow day.

I promptly lighted a candle when I learned what happened (one of the rights of wiccan restraurant managers everywhere).

Later that night, I went over to Quantum Alchemy. I do not remember if there was a class scheduled that night...I think that there was...anyways, the group there did a ritual that night in light of what happened.

And that Sunday, the Tarot class that Bast Temple was conducting jumped to the Tower card.

Now, looking back on the event and how various esoteric groups reacted, I realize that based on the groups that I was aware of at the time, those groups that had meetings/rituals that addressed 9/11 are still around, and those who did not have disappeared.

And talking to other people, I also realize that I am not the only one that has noticed this pattern. Now, Denver is too small of a sample to draw conclusions from, but it does make one wonder, doesn't it?

Quote of the day: Two important facts about secret societies

Here are two quotes by Arthur Goldwag about secret societies (one that I used in my review of his latest book Cults, Conspiracies and Secret Societies, and one that I didn't):

Here in the real world, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that the closest kept secret of many secret societies is the fact that they haven't got all that many secrets worth keeping.

[W]hen reading (and writing) about secret societies, one truisn should always be kept in mind: the more we know about a group, the less we probably have to fear from it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Three kisses of death to any idea

The top three kisses of death to any idea that you might have in magical and spiritual circles:

3. That sounds like change for change's sake.

2. Do you have a document from a dead white guy to prove that you are right?

1. My spirit guides/mentor/Third Order contact says that you are wrong.

If you hear any of the above, don't bother to try to justify your idea; just pick up your ball and go home---the speaker has already made up their mind; it does not matter if you are right or wrong; they are not going to actually listen to you.

Monday, September 7, 2009

What I learned in the color scale class yesterday

Yesterday was the first session on the color scales for Bast Temple. And I must admit that it was a learning experience.

What did I learn?

Oh, quite simply that there is a lot of missing material here, besides the obvious lack of a set of published complete color scales. There is nothing like teaching a class to point out all the holes in your own knowledge base.

So now I have to kick around whether the holes I spotted (the ones that have not been addressed already---yes, I am going to be borrowing some of Tabitha Cicero's work from the Hermetic Virtue magazine) are big enourgh and important enourgh to sink a bunch of time into them filling them.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Only these documents count

Something that often disturbs me is that some students of Golden Dawn believe that unless an idea was written down by an old dead guy, it is not worth considering. The old dead guys got it absolutely right; just like the secret Third Order has it completely right.

Quite simply the ideas that you have and the ideas that I have are NOT worth having.

And I will admit that this gets my goat.

Oh, there is one exceptation, and that is if we can get Golden Dawn recognized by modern scholars. But that involves getting scholars interested in correcting the system in the first place.

Again, you and I have no place actually thinking about the system. We should just pay our dues, obey our superiors, and shut up.

Ok, maybe I am just having a bad day, but can you really tell me that some people do not believe exactly this? And then some people wonder how the terms "cult" and Golden Dawn gets confused.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame

Given the recent talk of Golden Dawn "cults", with one person claiming that they exist and another person denying their existence, I thought that this would be a good time to blog about cults.

The problem with cults is that they look remarkably like legitimate religions, political groups and fraternal organizations; or at least until the Kool-aid, guns and multiple wives are brought out into the open.

As for cults existing in Golden Dawn, let's be honest: the potential is there, even if no cults are currently active today. My own experience reminds me that bad things can happen when the wrong leaders step forward. I am especially suspicious of anyone who wants to be a leader.

(I would like to remind everyone that I am an elected officer. I did not ask for the job; I was just guilty of doing the tasks of the office, and too slow to get out of the way of the voting members when they decided that they did not want to do it themselves. Not that I can blame them for not desiring the job; my desk is buried under enough work to keep me busy for the next decade.)

One of the best things to know about cults are the signs of what a cult act like. Remember a cult always hides behind a cloak of respectability, clear up to the day that the FBI kicks in the door.

And one of the best handouts I have ever seen on the subject is the Cult Danger Evaluation Frame from P. E. I. Bonewits.

It is a set of fifteen subjects that you assign a number from one (low) to ten (high). Without further ado, the fifteen categories of cult behavior as outlined by Bonewits are:

1 INTERNAL CONTROL, amount of internal political control exercised by leader(s) over members.

2 WISDOM CLAIMED by leader(s); amount of infallibility declared about decisions.

3 WISDOM CREDITED to leader(s) by members; amount of trust in decisions made by leader(s).

4 DOGMA, rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility.

5 RECRUITING, emphasis put on attracting new members, amount of proselytizing.

6 FRONT GROUPS, number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group.

7 WEALTH, amount of money and/or property desired or obtained; emphasis on members' donations.

8 POLITICAL POWER, amount of external political influence desired or obtained.

9 SEXUAL MANIPULATION of members by leader(s); amount of control over sex lives of members.

10 CENSORSHIP, amount of control over members' access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).

11 DROPOUT CONTROL, intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.

12 ENDORSEMENT OF VIOLENCE when used by or for the group or its leader(s).

13 PARANOIA, amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; perceived power of opponents.

14 GRIMNESS, amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or leader(s).

15 SURRENDER OF WILL, emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions.

As a general rule, the higher the numerical total scored by a given group, the more dangerous it is likely to be. Though it is obvious that many of the scales in the frame are subjective, it is still possible to make practical judgments using it, provided that all numerical assignments are based on accurate and unbiased observation of actual behavior (as distinct from official pronouncements).

Those who believe that relativism and anarchy are as dangerous to mental health as absolutism and authoritarianism are, should count groups with total scores nearing either extreme (high or low) as being equally hazardous.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Interesting discussion on roles of members and officers

There is an interesting discussion of the role of members and officers of Golden Dawn starting on the Golden Dawn Group yahoo forum. Or at least, I have found it interesting so far.