Monday, September 27, 2010

Trying to make the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram interesting

One of the joys of being in Golden Dawn, or any other esoteric group for that matter, is that occasionally you can see one of the officers crack up. Each officer has their particular burden to bear. In the case of the Praemonstrator, it is having to lecture about a subject that they have done fifteen million times before (or so, it feels to them).

A particular amusing lecture to watch the Praemonstrator around is when they have to talk about the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. Due to the neccessarity of it being taught to every new member (aka Neophyte), most of us have attended this lecture a million times (ok, maybe it just feels like a million times). The only thing that I can imagine more boring than attending the lecture would be teaching it. You can see the eyes of the Praemonstrator twitch as they think about having to do yet another round of teaching it.

The only solution I have seen for this problem (how many times can you watch the same lecture over and over again) is to treat the lecture as if you have two audiences---one being the Neophyte, the other audience everyone else. For the Neophyte, you teach the standard "Here is where you move; these are the symbols you draw; these are the words you say." For everyone else, you take a dartboard, divide it into six parts, and throw a dart at it.

The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram has seven layers just like the rest of the Golden Dawn rituals have. The lowest is the physical layer (the part that you are showing to the Neophyte). Everyone else gets a lecture corresponding to the layer that the dart landed in. It is not the most ideal way of teaching, but it cuts down on the snoring and eye twitching.

And if you somehow have not attended the lecture on the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram fifteen million times, then you might enjoy reading this post on Augoeides about the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram (click on sentence).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why yes I am a pirate

For the record, yes I am a pirate (someone active in at least one file sharing community). I am also a writer and creator of material. I can see both sides of the issue, therefore it always amuses me to blog as if I completely favor one side or another in the whole piracy issue.

(Watch my posts---one day, I favor the pirates, the next day those who are manning the walls.)

It is also amusing that Zinkyleaks is unaware that Nick Farrell, Darcy Kuntz, Pat Zalewski are more than likely aware of the fact that I spend time on the file sharing sites. And if they haven't figured out that I am a pirate...well, I would be surprised.

(I cannot guess whether Chic and Tabitha Cicero are aware of my activity...personally, I have no contact with either one of them.)

I have never made any secret of the fact that I spend time on the file sharing sites. I have talked about doing so on my blogs, including this one.

Likewise, I don't bother disguising the fact that I am a creator and writer on the file sharing sites. You would be surprised the number of writers and creators who are also present on the file sharing sites. Now, I am not sure how many of them are actively running a torrent program in the background, but I assume a couple of them are.

And yes, I have downloaded stuff still under copyright. In fact, it is safe to assume that anything created by someone who was still living after 1940 is still under copyright. Unfortunately, a lot of it is out-of-print.

I started torrenting for out-of-print games (oy, I am a nerd). Then I started to download the latest espisodes of my favorite television shows (I do not have cable and I am impatient---oy vey, I am a nerd). And yes, I have downloaded a lot of occult books (I guess that is the cherry on top---I am not sure if it gets me nerd points or not).

And pirating has not stopped me from buying occult books, television seasons, movies, and role playing games. (I get my music from iTunes; they are also beginning to serve as my substitute for cable.) If Pat, Darcy or Nick showed up at my house, I would ask them to sign my copies of the books I own that they wrote...I am sure after they saw the pile of books I own by them that they would realize that they are not losing any money---at least, from me.

And I have shared part of my own work with the file sharing community. I am an author; and if I am going to get pirated, then by god I am pulling the trigger myself.

But I am not sure that I am guilty of hypocrisy. After all, I have admitted on more than one occasion that I have a vested interest in seeing both the creators of new material and the torrent sites survive. For me, the whole situation is more a muddy grey than a pure black and white.

And if you did not catch it, not only am I a writer, I am also a pirate.

(A big thanks goes to Zinkyleaks for inspiring this post. How do you like those huevos?)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why would a pirate dare rob a magician?

Over at Strategic Sorcery (On Pirates) in the comment section, Pallas Renatus wrote "Why on earth would [pirates] risk pissing off magicians of all people? This just seems like common sense to me."

Here is my theory: The pirates do not believe that the magicians can do anything to hurt them.

Heck, the pirates do not believe that the law can touch them. If the mass forces of the law enforcement agencies and the legal system cannot touch them, how can the puny forces mustered by a lowly magician affect them?

Furthermore, they argue that they are not doing anything wrong. In fact, pirates believe that writers and artists should be happy creating new material for them to use and enjoy while not recieving a single penny to offset the time and energy they used to create the work. Even if they believes in, oh say something like, Karma or the Three-fold Law of Return, they would think that it is the creators of the material that are the moral violators and not them.

And most of these pirates have no stake in the outcome of this situation, either as creators or users. They do not create anything that can earn them a thin dime (my proof: everyone I know with a monetary stake in a copyright or intellectual property is a supporter of copyright and patent laws, even if we cannot agree how strong the laws should be). And they are armchair occultists---they are not actually using the material that they are stealing.

It is this last part that makes it especially difficult for magicians to fight back (with a couple of notable exceptations). In previous ages, magicians used to blind their work to prevent it from working correctly in the hands of those people not in their own lineage. Think: Large Booby Trap, often complete with drooling demons to feast on one's scattered remains. The defense that the lineaged working magician were traditionally taught does not work if the person just downloads a pdf and never actually casts a single spell from the work (in some cases, I am not even sure that they actually are reading the works in question).

But note that working magicians are a crafty lot, and there are some interesting magical procedures starting to be developed to cope with this new form of piracy. It is only a matter of time before the pirates realize that magicians are the last people you want to rob, and that we have rolled out a whole new line of customized curses to deal with the likes of them (curses that cannot be removed with anti-virus software).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blogs I am reading 23 September 2010

Yes, it is time once again for another installment of Blogs That I am Reading.

First up is Mrs B's Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom. One of the regular features on her blog is the misadventures of her cat, Tanner. In the latest installment, Tanner is looking mighty hungry.

Speaking of food, following a link on VVF's blog, I stumbled across a rant by Gordon (RuneSoup) about how horrible modern pagan food is. I love the advice that is given at the end:

Shaping a tube of cookie dough into little half-moons is not food suitable for divine beings. Please don’t feed your Gods the way you clearly feed your children. They deserve much better.

Over on Renaissance Astrology, Christopher talks about how to figure out the astrological spirit of a city. I find it hard to argue with what he believes the Angel of America looks like.

And finally, we have Rufus talking about using gunpowder in rituals (his post being a safety warning regarding a Frenemy Fix spell on Gnostic Conjure). I can't say that he is wrong---some fool is sure to lose a finger---but I do love the idea of the Frenemy Fix spell (hopefully, I am not the damn fool he was talking about).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The recession is all in your head

Good news everyone! We are not in a recession. The recession was officially over in June 2009.

Just too bad that most of us didn't get the memo.

So why are so many of us still suffering with unemployment, upside down mortgages, and are on the verge of being officially below the poverty level?

Maybe it is all in our heads.

Or at least that is the conclusion that you can jump to if you embrace the Law of Attraction. In a nutshell, the Law of Attraction says that the things and conditions that you focus on the most are what you are going to attract.

Worry about being unemployed, or becoming attract unemployment.

Worry about keeping your attract foreclosure.

Worry about being attract more bills and less income.

Gee, it sounds so simple, doesn't it?

Now, all we need is someone to point out that our economic illness is all in our head, to shout at us to walk it off, and we can all go back to being middle class in no time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stations and duties of the officers of the Neophyte Grade

Hierophant gives the Sign of the Enterer.

Hierophant: Let the number of the Officers of the Grade and the nature of their offices be proclaimed once again, that the powers whose images they are may be re-awakened in the spheres of those now present and in the sphere of this Order, for by names and images are all powers awakened and reawakened.

Hierophant now gives the Sign of Silence.

Hierophant: Honored Hiereus, how many chief officers are there in this Grade?

Hiereus: Three, Very Honored Hierophant.

Hierophant: And what are their names?

Hiereus: The chief officers are the Hierophant, the Hiereus and the Hegemon.

Hierophant: Is there any peculiarity in these names?

Hiereus: They all commence with the letter H.

Hierophant: Of what is this letter a symbol of?

Hiereus: Of life, because the character H is one mode of representing the ancient Greek aspirate; Breathing, and Breath, are evidence of life.

Hierophant: How many assistant officers are there in this Grade?

Hiereus: Three, besides the Sentinel, namely, the Kerux, the Stolistes, and the Dadouchos.

Hierophant: Where is the station of the Sentinel?

Hiereus: Without the Portal of the Hall.

Hierophant: And his duty?

Hiereus: He is armed with a sword to keep out intruders, and he prepares the Candidate.

Hierophant: And his godform?

Hiereus: Opowet, also known as Anubis of the West.

Hierophant: Soror Dadouchos, your station?

Dadouchos: In the South, Very Honored Hierophant, to symbolize heat and dryness.

Hierophant: Your duty?

Dadouchos: I attend to the censer and the incense and the lamps of the lodge, and I assist in the purification and consecration by Fire of the Hall, of the Members, and of the Candidate.

Hierophant: And your godform?

Dadouchos: Neit, also known as Thaum-Êsh-Nêith.

Hierophant: Frater Stolistes, your station?

Stolistes: In the North, Very Honored Hierophant, to symbolize cold and moisture.

Hierophant: Your duty?

Stolistes: I see that the robes, collars and insignia of the Officers are ready before the opening; I attend to the cup of lustral water and I assist in the purification and consecration by water, of the Hall, of the Members, and of the Candidate.

Hierophant: And your godform?

Stolistes: Mut, also known as Auramoouth.

Hierophant: Frater Kerux, your station?

Kerux: Within the Portal of the Hall, Very Honored Hierophant.

Hierophant: Your duty?

Kerux: I see that all the furniture of the Hall is properly arranged before the opening. I guard the inner side of the Portal. I admit Fratres and Sorores of the Order. I assist in the reception of the Candidates. I attend to the Lamp of my office. I lead the mystic circumambulation and make all announcements and reports.

Hierophant: What do your Lamp and Wand symbolize?

Kerux: The Light of Occult Science and its directing power.

Hierophant: And your godform?

Kerux: Anup em Yebet, also known as Anubis of the East.

Hierophant: Frater Hegemon, your station?

Hegemon: Between the two pillars of Hermes and Solomon facing the cubical altar of the Universe, Very Honored Hierophant.

Hierophant: Your duty?

Hegemon: I preside over the symbolic gateway of Occult Science. I am the reconciler between light and darkness. I immediately follow the Kerux in the mystic circumambulations. I superintend the preparation of the Candidate; lead him through the path of darkness into light, and assist in his reception, and I aid the other officers in the execution of their duties.

Hierophant: What does the white color of your robe symbolize?

Hegemon: Purity.

Hierophant: Your peculiar ensign of office?

Hegemon: The mitre-headed sceptre.

Hierophant: What does it symbolize?

Hegemon: Religion, to guide and regulate life.

Hierophant: What does your office symbolize?

Hegemon: Those higher aspirations of the soul, which should guide its actions.

Hierophant: And your godform?

Hegemon: Thmê, also known as Maat.

Hierophant: Honored Hiereus, your station?

Hiereus: On the throne of the West, Very Honored Hierophant.

Hierophant: What does the throne of the West symbolize?

Hiereus: Increase of darkness, decrease of light.

Hierophant: Your duty?

Hiereus: I preside over twilight and darkness, which encompass us in the absence of the Sun of Life and Light. I guard the gate of the West. I assist in the reception of the Candidate and I superintend the inferior officers in the execution of their duties.

Hierophant: What does the black color of your robe symbolize?

Hiereus: Darkness.

Hierophant: Your peculiar ensign of office?

Hiereus: The Sword and the Banner of the West.

Hierophant: What does the Banner of the West symbolize?

Hiereus: Twilight.

Hierophant: What does the Sword symbolize?

Hiereus: Severity and Judgment.

Hierophant: What does your office symbolize?

Hiereus: Fortitude.
Hierophant: And your godform?
Hiereus: Hôr, also known as Horus.

Hierophant: My place is on the Throne of the East, which symbolizes the rise of the Sun of Life and Light--my duty is to rule and govern this Hall in accordance with the laws of the Lodge and Order. The red color of my robe symbolizes Light; my insignia are the Crown-headed Sceptre and the Banner of the East which signifies power and light, mercy and wisdom, and my office is that of the Expounder of the Mysteries. My godform is Osir, also known as Osiris, when I am seated on the dais, and Hôr Wêr, or Horus the Elder, when I am moving on the Temple floor.

Hierophant: The station of the Past Hierophant is to the left of mine on the dais, dressed in red bearing a scepter, and his duty is to guide and support my office. His godform is Osiris when I am not on the dais, and is Horus the Elder when I am seated on the dais.

Hierophant: Sister Hegemon, what is the station, duties and godform of the Cancellarius?

Hegemon: The Cancellarius sits to the right of the Hierophant of the Hall, dressed in yellow robes bearing a wand, and his duties are to maintain the records of the lodge. His godform is Djehoti, also known as Thoth.

Hierophant: Brother Hiereus, what is the station, duties and godform of the Imperator?
Hiereus: The Imperator sits to the far right of the Hierophant of the Hall, dressed in red robes and bearing a sword, and his duties are to ensure that the Temple is obeying the Bylaws set forth by the voting members of the First and Second Orders. His godform is Nebethô, also known as Nephthys.
Hierophant: Sister Kerux, what is the station, duties and godform of the Praemonstrator?

Kerux: The Praemonstrator sits on the far left of the Hierophant of the Hall, dressed in blue robes and bearing a scepter, and his duty is to supervise the ritual work of the Order and to instruct members in its curriculum. His godform is Iset, also known as Isis.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What is up with the Three Officer GD Neophyte Ritual book?

As some of you know I was originally planning on correcting and reissuing my little book containing the Three Officer Version of the GD Neophyte 0=0 Grade Ritual this summer. So what happened? And why did it not get done?

(For the record, I still consider this version Golden Dawn despite what some people say.)

First, Lulu decided to make me add more pages to the book (which is why the revision did not happen earlier in the year). This involves deciding what to add, and then actually writing the pages. People who know me, and other writers, will immediately see the problem with that.

Second, I chose to have a personal problem during the five weeks that were blocked out for the most serious work of the summer season. No writing got done. Moral of the summer season: Morgan Drake Eckstein is still pretty screwed up in the head, and really needs to learn how to write while feeling suicidal.

So no work actually got done on this project…and that might have been a good thing.

Repeat---might have been a good thing.

My original goal for the reissue was to clean up the spelling and grammar mistakes. Then it was to add forty pages…without feeling that the pages were needed.

(The real reason that I needed to add forty pages was that Lulu no longer supported hard-covers for the size of book that I originally done. And Lulu would not let me change the cover style to a paperback---not that I actually wanted a paperback for this…I chose hard-cover because of how much I will abuse a copy of the ritual script.)

Sometime after my personal problem ended (more or less), and it was too late to actually fix this before the winter season, a part of me decided what needed to be added to the book. This is one of those times I get to say, “Everything went wrong, and that was the best thing that could actually happen at the time.”

So yes, my book Golden Dawn Rituals Volume One, Neophyte Ritual, Three Officer Version is going to be reissued. It is just taking longer than I thought it would.

(And if you are really desperate to get your hands on it, there is the promotional preview copy pdf floating around on the internet which will be followed by a couple of other promotional preview pdfs because I know that most people believe that a writer should never profit from writing about the occult, especially if it is about Wicca or Golden Dawn---I will save you the time it takes to scan my book. Just don’t expect them to be exact copies of what is actually being shipped---for instance, the Order name is being changed [long story short---the name my lodge started out with was chosen before we became aware of certain events going on in the Golden Dawn community; back in the nineties, I was told that I was a member of the Hermetic branch; today, we know better].)

Monday, September 13, 2010

To loon or not to loon

Every once in awhile, you hear someone say that XYZ was a loon (fill in the XYZ with your favorite lunatic), therefore they were wrong about some magical or spiritual technique. Personally, I find this to be the biggest cheat ever to prove that someone was wrong. As one of my friends says, "Even an idiot (or lunatic) is allowed to have a good idea occasionally---the trick is to spot and steal it as quickly as possible."

Let me tell you a secret. We are all loons. It is only a matter of how loony we are. Name your favorite occultist...they are a loon. Name your least favorite...they are a loon. In fact, everyone in the world is a loon.

Here is another secret: In the midst of their maddness, every lunatic's world has a logic to it. So when you hear that so-and-so was a loon, and therefore some technique is wrong, you can either wholeheartly accept that the technique is wrong or you can attempt to understand the logic behind the technique.

Often, it turns out that a loon will have completely loony ideas. But every once in awhile, they stumbled across a good idea. And you would have to be a lunatic not to steal a good idea that is not bolted down.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Joke of the day Kosher food shopping

The other day, I am sitting talking to a friend and I noticed that there is a great big kosher symbol on the bag of potatoe chips that she is eating. They were 7-Select potatoe chips. I asked the question that started to creep in my head.

"Did you buy those potatoe chips at 7-Eleven?!"


"Why the heck would anyone concerned with keeping kosher even think about stepping into a 7-Eleven?!"

Ok, my friend had no answer. She is not Jewish, therefore probably does not even understand how difficult keeping kosher is. I am not Jewish either (except by very distant blood), but I do have a glimmer of an idea what it is like to keep kosher.

For one thing, you do not want to eat any pork products...7-Eleven is full of pork products, including yummy delicious fried pork skins. (Ok, I think that pork skins are delicious; I have been told repeatly that I am wrong.) I am not sure what the hot dogs are made of...but I am guessing pork and other associated mystery meats. I do know that they are selling ham sandwiches...with cheese on them. And isn't just walking into such a place unkosher?!

I might be wrong, but I don't see how anyone concerned with whether or not their potatoe chips are kosher can even step into a 7-Eleven.

And yes, as always, you can point out what I am overlooking by leaving a comment in the comment section. I would also like to hear the strangest food item you have seen a kosher symbol on, and/or the strangest place you spotted said item at.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A call for healing

I was once told that funerals are not for the dead, but rather for the living. I believe this to be true. And even if it is not---well, we have not gotten any reports about the dead being upset with their funeral services (or at least, none that I am aware of).

I was thinking about this today. For those who are reading this later, today was the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. As we moved closer to this anniversary, we all watched the news media focus on the actions and words of some blow-hard who is more busy trying to raise funds and be important than we have seen people actually addressing the fact that we are still healing from the 9/11 attacks. I would love to blame this on the editorial rule that if it bleeds, it leads, but I suspect that there is more to it than that.

The whole anger about the Muslim Culture Center is evidence that we still have a long way to go before we are fully healed from the wounds of 9/11. Of course, the news media and politicians are more concerned about keeping us upset than they are about seeing us actually recover from this particular tragedy. Those who are spoon-feeding us information are more concerned with keeping us upset and themselves in the driver's seat than they are about seeing that we actually recover from this act of violence.

If we are going to heal the emotional wounds from this, or at least get them healed to a level that we are not thinking about burning books and people in the street, we need to take our healing into our own hands.

During the days following this particular tragedy, I was rather impressed by some of the local pagan, Wiccans, and ceremonial magicians in the Denver area. Most of them stepped in circle and comforted one another. For a brief moment, the Denver community laid aside its differences and treated the wounded.

The wounded were not the dead; they were the living. Problem is that we only seem to remember the dead on days like today; we forget that we were all victims of this act of terrorism. And most people seem satisfied to leave our healing in the hands of the politicians (including the blow-hard who is more politician than spiritual leader). We need to rethink this policy.

Perhaps we need to think about taking our healing into our own hands. Yes, it will be a lot of work; but if we don't do it, who will?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blogs I am reading 10 September 2010

Yes, it is once again time for another installment of "blogs I have been reading lately."

The first item is not actually a blog post, but I am going to share it anyways.

Republican claims that Girl Scouts breed pro-abortion lesbians

Seriously, you can't make this type of stuff up...or at least, my imagination fails in this department. Having known some former Girl Scouts, I will admit that all of them are strong-willed and stand up for themselves; but off the top of my head, I do not know any lesbian Girl Scouts. As for their pro-abortion stance, I believe that the current Republican definition of pro-abortion is believing in exceptions for abortion on the grounds of medical reasons, incest and rape. Of course, the real issue here is not that Girl Scouts are god-less lesbians who are pro-abortion; it is the fact that former Girl Scouts do not mindlessly vote Republican.

(As always, feel free to yell at me in the comment section.)

Oh and by the way, this politican should know that you should be buying your cookies elsewhere...have you figured out the markup on these cookies? If someone cannot figure that out, perhaps they should not be sent to Washington in the first place. For the record, the high markup is NOT going to stop me from buying a couple of boxes next cookie season; after all, Girl Scouts make great Wiccans and ceremonial magicians.

Pagan Soccer Mom: Inviting a household guardian into your home

You got to love this post just for the picture of Mrs B's household guardian. Personally, I have a couple of guardian spirits around my house. But none as cute as hers---and yes, cute is relative (that guardian willl bite your arm off). My offerings tend to be mugwort and milk.

Mary Greer: Regulating Fortune Tellers

In Warren, Michigan, you must now pay for a ten dollar background check, get finger-printed and pay a $150 dollar annual license fee if you are a fortune teller. In theory, this law is supposed to cut down on the number of scammers in the field (those who charge outrageous fees to cast spells and remove hexes) a friend of mine noted it might be simply that people going to fortune tellers are cutting into lottery sales (the tax against people who do not understand the math of probability theory). I have mixed feelings about this type of law.

Elysia: Witches and Liability

In the vein of the previous mentioned blog post, Elysia (Llewellyn Books acquistition editor) talks about laws and regulations governing fortune tellers. Regarding a rejected tax on fortune tellers in Romania, she notes that the law would have included a provision holding fortune tellers responsible for false predictions. I know a lot of people would love to see this type of law enforced; but as Elysia pointed out, think about where this type of law leads.

"If we [held fortune tellers, witches, and magicians liable for their false predictions], we’d have to hold the medical profession to account (‘false positive’ being an oft-used medical term, of course), then the weather forecasters, then the business journalists, then the high school counselors, then the Las Vegas bookies… everyone who’s ever attempted to make a prediction about anything."

Essentially, all of us (including the non-magical folks) would be subject to fines and jail time...on the bright note, we might have less politicans and doomsday prophets and priests.

The Malkuth of Me: On book burning

In this news cycle, I lost count of how many articles and blogs I read about book burning, thanks to the actions of the loud mouth in Florida trying to convince someone not to open a Muslim culture center in New York City (it is not really near the 9/11 site) by threatening to burn copies of the Quran. This blog post became my favorite because the blogger came out and said that it was ok to burn books provided that you brought them in the first place.

If you are a writer or publisher, think about this. In order to burn a book, someone had to buy a copy of the book in the first place. Maybe we should be encouraging people to burn copies of the books we write. It is not like it is a new idea---Aliester Crowley instructed people to burn their copy of the Book of the Law after reading it only once (I am not sure anyone ever actually did so, but that is what Crowley suggested).

Now, on a personal note, because someone is sure to ask, I believe that it is one short step from burning books to burning people. And I believe that the lunatic in Florida is exactly the type of person who would think that it was a good idea to burn people of my ilk.

(I did mention that you can yell at me in the comment section, right?)

Donald Michael Kraig: Labels, Cults, and Politics

And finally this week, I must mention how Kraig blogged about one of my own blog posts. I would rack this up to it being a slow news day, except that we are in the silly season of politics. Kraig's point was made by the Republican claiming that the Girl Scouts are a breeding ground for pro-abortion god-less lesbians.

In my case, I stand by my blog post (about someone else's blog post and comments made about their post). In the situation that I was talking about, I believe that the word "cult" was the correct technical term (provided of course, that the story being told about that organization was can never be sure when it comes to stories told about Golden Dawn lodges and Orders). I was talking about using the term "cult" in the sense of "your mind belong to us and your decisions are no longer yours to make."

It is obvious that me and Kraig are going to continue to disagree on this issue (as will I and the original blogger, and the organization that he was talking about). But I am glad that both of us managed to figure out a way to blog about the same subject.

(I would tell members of the organization to consider defriending me on Facebook and to quit following this blog, but that boat sailed months and months ago already.)

Anyways, this ends another installment of blogs that I have been reading lately. As always, feel free to leave your poison ink letters in the comment section (I read all the comments even if I do not hit the "publish" button).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Quote of the day Four Tablets from Waite FRC

There are four tablets mentioned in the "elemental" rituals of A.E. Waite's Fellowship of the Rosy Cross (Holy Order of the Golden Dawn).

From the Zelator initiation ritual:

The four-square tablet that stands in the middle west of the temple contains divine and angelical names referable to the western quarter of the heavens and, by correspondence, to the element of Earth. They teach us that the universe and man who dwells therein are encompassed by the powers and the providences, the graces and benedictions of the Divine. They serve, moreover, to remind us that God has given His angels charge over all those who work for the hidden wisdom and follow the quest of him.

From the Theoricus initiation ritual:

The four-square tablet that stands in the middle of the temple, containing divine and angelic names referable to the eastern quarter of the heaven, is in correspondence with the element of Air, and is set up as a symbol in our temple for the sancification of the mind in man.

From the Practicus initiation ritual:

The four-square tablet that is placed in the middle north of the temple containing Divine and angelic names referable to the northern quarter of the heavens, is in correspondence with the element of Water, and is set up as a symbol in our temple for the sanctification of the heart of man...

From the Philosophus initiation ritual:

The four-square tablet that is placed in the middle south of the temple containing Divine and angelic names referable to the southern quarter of the heavens, is in correspendence with the element of Fire, and is set up as a symbol in our temple for the sanctification of the will of man.

From the Complete Rosicrucian Initiations of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross [also previously published as Inner and Outer Order Initiations of the Holy Order of the Golden Dawn (2005)] pages 58, 89, 121, & 150.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Joke of the day Here is a word you cannot use to describe a GD group

Ok, maybe I am wyrd...but the joke of the day is that I learned that there is a word that you are not allowed to use to describe Golden Dawn groups. That word is CULT. On another blog, someone mentioned something that another group did, and then a commentor made the comment that the action of the other group did was "Cult-like" and was listed as one of the warning signs of a cult; they promptly got told by the blogger that they could not use the word "cult" in connection with any Golden Dawn group, especially if they wanted any future comments approved.

Ok, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't telling someone not to use the word "cult" also a form of cult-like behavior?!

If we cannot use the word "cult", especially in its technical sense, then what word are we supposed to use? How about "life-style control association"? Or "your actions are no longer yours to determine society"? Or "group with paranoid people in charge"?

The commentor was using the word is a technical sense. I do not know how to say "cult-like behavior" without using the word "cult." Now, I do not like any Golden Dawn group being associated with that word...but barring people from using that word is not going to prevent them from making the connection if they are so inclined. And it is definitely not going to stop the next Golden Dawn flame war which is about to erupt either if that is what you are really concerned about (the instant you started talking about the actions of the other group, that flaming boat set sail). As for preventing people from joining the another Golden Dawn group and getting them to join yours, telling people not to use certain words is not going to help accomplish that goal.

As Craig Ferguson says, "There are just times when only a cuss-word will do." Or in this case, CULT.

For those who are curious about what defines cult-like behavior, they can find an overview of the Bonewits Cult Evaluation Frame by clicking on this sentence.

(And for the curious---the link underneath the commentor's identity leads directly to a site warning about cults. By telling the commentor not to use the word, one may have voluteered for a starring role in their next cult warning newsletter. Obviously, the commentor already believes that Golden Dawn is about as smelly as a fish in Denmark, and telling him not to engage in certain behavior is not going to change his mind.)

Update (5 Sept): Now, I am not so sure that the commentor had anything to do with an cult watch site; it may have just been an attempt to provide a clean link to a cult-watch site. Interestingly enourgh, they replied to the blogger that they never called the group in question a cult. They stated that they were merely saying that the behavior being talked about was "over the top" and that they couldn't "think of any less shocking way to say this."