Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mortar and Pestles available on Etsy.

Mortars and Pestles by Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery.
There are two new mortar and pestles available for sale on the Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery Etsy page. One is a Robin Egg Blue; the other is a Mottled Blue. Both are priced at nineteen (USA) dollars apiece (8.50 US shipping; 11.50 shipping to Canada). Durable and food safe.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! (Xmas Kitty edition)

The angel of Bast shown up for the Christmas miracle.
Merry Christmas everyone! And today I reveal to you the real secret of Christmas--it is all about appeasing the Christmas spirits. In my case, spirits that walk around on four legs and say Meow! a lot. Most other people focus on family, especially children. But I focus on appeasing the cats of the world, so that they allow us humans to exist for another year. I may have already been helping myself to the eggnog also. Merry Xmas! Here is to a better 2013.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Splitting the timeline (Tarot Blog Hop)

A Tarot spread for when you have multiple possible courses of action.
Welcome to the Yule 2012 Tarot Blog Hop. If you are reading this, then the world did not end yesterday...and it is time to consider what you are going to do with the coming year.

If you are doing the Tarot Blog Hop, then odds are you just came from Fool Stop--the official blog of U.S. Games (oh yeah, the kind people who supply us Tarot readers with almost half of our Tarot decks...or maybe that is just me). If you are one of my regular readers, then you probably arriving here from St. Andrew's Academy and Library for Misplaced Spells, where initated secrets go to hide.

Now, if you are anything like me, the start of a new year makes you look at certain things in your life, things that need to be dealt with. For me, this coming year is all about the writing and certain other creative endeavors. But I do have a certain problem--there are so many projects to deal with, or that I could be doing, that I am not sure what project needs to become my priority.

In an ideal world, I would have access to a time machine and I would hop into the future to peek at which one I did. And being a Virgo, I would also want to look at several alternate timelines. I don't want to just blindly pick an option, or settle for just one. No, I want to know what all the options were and their respective outcomes. Did I mention that I am a Virgo? A Virgo that just happens to be a science fiction fan?

Anyways, I do not have access to a time machine...this makes me sad.

But I do have access to a magical tool that does allow me to peek into the future, and to weigh multiple courses of action. Yes, that is right--I am about to abuse a Tarot deck in a weird time splitting experiment.

I call this spread--The Time Split, for it allows one to see possible outcomes for multiple options and choices of behavior. It involves at least eight cards for two possible options, with additions of three cards apiece for each additional option beyond the initial two.

The first card of the spread is the current situation (this card can be either randomly choosen or pre-selected). The second card (random draw) provides more information about the current situation.

It is the third card that we start to deal with the various options that are open to us; the "option" cards (3rd, 6th, and so forth) can be either randomly choosen or pre-selected--the choice will depend on how clear you are about possible options available. (A clear-cut list is better dealt with using pre-selected cards; if one has no clue what options are available, randomly drawn cards are the way to go.) The third card (as well as the 6th, and so forth) represent one possible course of action.

The fourth and fifth card (as well as 7th and 8th, and so forth) are randomly drawn.

The fourth card represents additional information about the option in question. In the case of a randomly drawn Option card, it might help verify the option. In the case of pre-selected Option card, it might call attention to complications that Option would require in order to be implimented.

The fifth card represents the most likely outcome if the Option is taken. Always bear in mind that this outcome depends upon the implimentation of the Option under consideration. Also remember that the very act of looking at a possible future changes the future.

Cards three, four and five represent one Option. Cards six, seven and eight would represent a second Option. One can add additional rows of three cards to cover additional Options. (My experience says to limit the number of Options to five--anything beyond that tends to be overkill and quite confusing to keep straight. Ideally, it should be two or three Options considered in a reading.)

So there you have it, the Time Split, the Tarot spread that I am currently using to try to figure out the best option for my business to be focused on in the upcoming year. And yes, it probably will involve monkeys (regular readers will understand why).

If you are continuing with the Tarot Blog Hop, your next stop is the blog of Joanna Ash--Sun Goddess Tarot. And if there are any breaks (broken links) in the Tarot Blog Hop, the Master List can be found at This Game of Thrones. My regular readers will go back to annoying the librarian to let them into the forbidden section where all the really good secrets are hidden. Happy Yule, Merry Xmas, and Happy New Year (and whatever other holidays I am forgetting) to everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 11 plus)

It is a Cat in a Christmas hat.
One of the common Christmas Cat photos is the every-amusing "Let's put a Santa cap on the kitty--nothing could possibly go wrong while doing this." Hint--kitty is not the one that is going to end up on Santa's Naughty List; no, it is the silly owner, who is now bleeding that is going to be on the Naughty List. Hope you like the present the cat is going to leave in your shoe.

More Cats in Xmas hats.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 10)

Oh dear, another Xmas Kitty Reindeer.
Message from my cat: Meow! It is not nice to make fun of kitties with strange noses. Meow! Even if they are red (or in his case, tri-colored). Meow! And it is even more wrong to dress your cat up as a reindeer. Message ends--Meow!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Quoting others in full

Fair is fair--right?

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 9)

A cat wanting to be a reindeer--unlikely.
Here is a cute kitty dressed in a reindeer costume. But it is highly unlikely that they actually want to be a reindeer. More likely the cat is wondering if this makes up for the fact that they broke a couple of vases earlier in the day. After all, it is just so unfair that humans believe that perfectly normal cat behavior earns them a spot on Santa's naughty list.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Day 8)

Xmas Kitty is fixing the lights on your Christmas tree.
Do Christmas trees have engines and motors? I suspect yes from this picture. I do know that they have wiring which might need fixing. Not that I want any of my cats to do wiring. Heck, I am not sure that I would trust myself to do wiring. Correction--I know that I do not trust myself to do any wiring. Therefore, maybe I am better off letting the cat figure out why the Christmas lights are not working.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Xmas Kitty 2012 (Kitty 7)

Trees are a favorite spot for Xmas Kitties to hide in.
One thing that you are sure to find if you search for Christmas and Cats in the same search is Cats in Christmas Trees. First, cats are fascinated by trees in the first place. Second, cats are really fascinated by trees that are inside of the house. It is not their fault that the tree doesn't have proper roots to auchor them down, so they do not tumble over. Nor is it their fault that their silly human decide to drape and hang a bunch of shiny, fragile objects from such an unstable, unnatural set-up. To a cat, a tree is supposed to be climbed--and climb them they do. Hence all the Christmas cats one sees in trees.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

As if we need a Hatfields and McCoys reality show

The feud between the cat and dog just got serious.
[File this under "It is only funny if you spent any time watching the feud between the various GD leaders--no one else will get the joke."]

The History Channel has decided to develop a reality show starring the modern-day descendants of the infamous Hatfield-McCoy blood feud. I am sorry--we need this, why?! If I wanted to watch a blood feud, I have the internet and twenty years of prime time feuding among Golden Dawn members to amuse myself with.

Or I could get involved in the little feud that two of my (biological) sisters are engaged in. There is no way that is going to end well any time soon. (Hey, I trained to feud with the best--my biological family. Sorry to any family member that might be reading this--of course, I have no idea why my biological family would be reading this.)

Seriously, why would I want to watch this? Has the History Channel ran out of Nazis and little green pyramid building aliens?! (Again, one needs to have watched our little occult community to get the joke.)

The only thing missing from this idea is cameras in badly ran restaurants that are named after something that front rhymes with McCoy--and I don't think that anyone can get Gordan Ramsey to step into one of those fast food places...oh, wait, I thinking of FOX, ain't I? Or am I thinking Golden Dawn?! (Yes, another in-joke for the people who watch the train wrecks in our esoteric community.)

So yes, I am looking forward to this reality series--just like I am looking for the next outbreak of the Black Death and the flames of the next internet occult war. How about you? Are you looking forward to it?

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Day 6)

Christmas Kitty is so cute.
There is no particular reason for this Christmas Kitty beyond "She is so cute that my head feels like it is about to explode!" And if cuteness is not a good enourgh reason to include this pretty kitty, dressed up as (perhaps) a cat version of one of Santa's elves, then I do not know what is a good reason. It does matter, this cat made the Christmas line-up...because this is my blog, and I will do what I want with it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 5)

Even Grumpy Cat is getting into the holiday spirit.
I will admit that I am one of those Christmas Humbug people. The holidays generally depress me--this year more so than the last couple. I think it the state of my wallet--empty--that is the trigger. For those who do not know, I grew up very poor. I learned the truth about Santa relatively early, and spent my entire childhood after that point skipping birthdays and holidays, so that my brothers and sisters could get presents instead. Sacrificing for others is a habit that I never got out of--I tend to give up resources and choices, so that other people's needs are covered. It is a problem. But a bigger problem is my resentment of this programmed habit; I tend to be hostile on occasion when I feel obligated to hand over my last bit of a resource to someone, and have to cover my own needs with absolutely nothing. One can see what part of my Adeptus Major work is going to be. Of course, the instant I start that section of the work, people are going to declare that I made Santa's naughty list...of course, these are the same people who declare that I am already on that list--so I am not sure that it will make that big of a difference in how some people percieve me. Nevertheless, I feel like giving them a present...maybe leaving a big bag of used cat litter on their front porch. I think that Grumpy Cat might even approve of that.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Maybe we should make it harder to get guns

Oy--another shooting in America. Inside a shopping mall. This time up near Portland.

(Ok--full disclosure: I have a relative living in Portland--therefore, my critics will scream that I am too close to this one to be making commentary.)

I have a theory about gun violence in America: We have so much gun violence because guns are so easy to obtain. And there is no shortage of ammunition either.

Perhaps we should make it harder to get guns and ammo.

Now, I realize that the cowboys in the crowd will tell me that what we need is more armed citizens. Ok, we are getting more and more armed citizens.

But they all seem to be psychotic ax-murderers. Not that you ever seen one wielding an ax to murder someone. Why? Because it is so easy to get a gun and thousands of rounds of ammunition. (If there were no guns, they would kill people with axes--basically they are crazy homicidal people.)

One of my problems with the armed response to the gun violence is that it presumes that your average citizen can hit the broadside of a barn. I know that I can...provided that I am armed with a small tactical nuke. And I am standing on the inside of the barn.

Seriously, outside of those people who have made their living through violence--criminals, police, and military personal--your average citizen is not going to be able to hit the right person while they are being shot at. And I am not necessarily sure by the steeped-in-violence crowd. Look at your typical study about how many bullets it takes to hit a shooting target; the core principle to nail such a target is to shoot lots and lots of bullets in the direction of the perpetrator.

Here is a cracked ball prediction: If someone starts shooting in a mall, and there are a dozen other people who are armed, you are going to end up with three dozen friendly fire hits before the smoke clears.

I am sorry, but the "let's arm everyone, including grandma" crowd is going to have to do a lot better if they are going to convince me that more guns are the answer to the gun violence in this county.

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 4)

Professor Cat would like to remind you that pets are forever.
It is now time for our annual Christmas public service message. Don't get a kitty, a cat, a puppy, a dog, or any other animal for Christmas just because you want an animal for the holidays. Don't get a pet for your kid just for the holidays either. Pets are forever. Once you allow an animal in your home, and start feeding it, you are responsible for its welfare for the rest of its life. So if you get a pet this holiday season, let it be because you found the right forever friend, not just because you thought it would be nice to have a pet for the holidays.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 3)

The Twelve Days of Christmas as sang by cat owners.
There are things to be said about holidays, especially about how Christmas music can get stuck in your head, which cannot be published on a blog without an adult warning about harsh language. Today was one of those days; I had Christmas music stuck in my head. It did not help the writing at all. Of course, my Turtle Monkey co-creator called me on the phone and tried to install something equally obnoxious in my head...the Christmas music won out as soon as she hang up. My cats look at me as if it is just another day; I guess they are used to me singing only half of the lines of various songs off-key. So here is to the Christmas carols stuck in my head--it is just too bad that I am not writing any stories about Xmas.

Bad Monkey now available online from B&N

The Bad Monkey ebook is now available online at Barnes and Noble.
The good news is that Bad Monkey--the Collected 2011 Hearthstone Community Church Articles is available for sale online from Barnes and Noble (99 cents). The bad news is that there is no cover image for the ebook. *sigh* Not that the cover would actually help the ebook sell--after all, it is more of a in-joke between my friends and me (shared with those who attended the June 2011 Open Full Moon ritual), but still I can't imagine it doing better without the cover image being available. There is also no product description, and the sample size is so small that you really can not get a flavor for my writing style. Oh yeah, this is really going to sell. Yes, you can file this under "The joys of writing ebooks."

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 2)

Xmas Kitty deserves a fancy feast this holiday season.
When I first saw this picture, I thought that it was a Thanksgiving picture. And then I noticed the Christmas Crackers and decided that it was actually a Christmas feast picture instead. (I had one history professor that was big on examining the fine details of old photographs which was a great suppliment to my literary studies...therefore another useless skill, outside of the occasional WTF moment.) Now, some people might point out the chicken, but in my household that is no sign that it is not Thanksgiving (often, we do a chicken for holidays--I have yet to be brave enourgh to attempt cooking a turkey--yes, I am cooking most of the meals in my household). So is it Thanksgiving, or is it Christmas? Does it matter to the cat? No, they are still going to help themselves to the food.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Xmas Kitties 2012 (Kitty 1)

Christmas Kitty looks like he has been drinking too much eggnog.
Yes, it is once again the season for many Christmas Cats to invade my humble little blog. I know my audience; while you claim that you are here to read about Golden Dawn and the esoteric traditions, you are really just here looking at silly cat pictures.

Friday, December 7, 2012

No death threats for me

Assassin Cat readies his lasers and claws--just in case, I decide not to feed him.
[The following post is written much along the lines of someone who has escaped food poisoning when all his friends are busy trying to have their stomachs crawl out of them. It is not that the writer wants food poisoning, bad luck, or death threats; it is merely the curiosity that a writer gets when he notices that there is a plague in the area, and it has somehow skipped his cannot help be curious about why one is so lucky. In other words, don't send me a death threat...unless you absolutely must.]

Yesterday was the second time this year, I noticed a Golden Dawn leader talking about recieving threats. And over the years, I have heard of other threats. Most seem to be along the line of the Ancient Siberian Curse ("If I tell you that I cursing you, maybe you will catch a round of bad luck"). And some of the results seem to be along the lines of "I am so important; people must be trying to kill me."

The regularity of impeding curses and threats makes me wonder if I am the only person in Golden Dawn who has never got a death threat. Ok, I mean a death threat originating from inside the estoteric community--domestic violence, living in a rough neighborhood, and running a cash register does not count for the purposes of this post.

Still one wonders how I have been so lucky. Oh sure, my little blog here has gotten some people so mad that they wanted to fry it out of if that would do more than slow me down (I have other soapboxes to use to air my loony opinions).

My current conclusion is the simple fact that I am not a leader in the esoteric community, merely a lunatic with a soapbox. It is not like anyone takes me seriously. Or expects me to ever threaten their organizations. After all, you very seldom see a court jester try to become a king.

Therefore, those people in the Golden Dawn community who are recieving threats of curses, impeding doom and death, must be the real deal...because one would never threaten someone who was faking it, would you? Recieving a death threat, or warning of being cursed, or bound by magic, is a badge of honor in the esoteric community--sort of like being named the village goat.

Anyway, if this post somehow upsets you, please remember that the thing I find most frightening and dangerous is a fruit cake. And assassin cat would really hate to recieve some expensive cat food. Oh, and my wife is horrified when she sees money, especially in the form of jewelry orders.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Still neutral about Zink and others

One of the things that (I think) people find disturbing about me is the fact that I tend to be neutral about the various so-called Legion of Evil Golden Dawn leaders (which basically consists of every public Golden Dawn leader). This neutrality extends to Robert Zink.

This neutrality occasionally gets called into question by certain people...because supposely I am involved a conspiracy (funny, I don't remember being invited to any meetings of the Legion of Evil Golden Dawn leaders). Like a couple of years ago, someone made a big fuss when a large bunch of the EOGD membership walked away from Robert Zink. They thought that I should embrace those who walked away from Robert Zink, and get up on my soapbox and condemn Zink.

And I didn't. I stayed out of the brawl. I felt that it was none of my business beyond my normal routine of reporting things of newsworthy interest to my readership. Besides, I didn't think that the EOGD or Robert Zink was going to go away. In fact, it did not surprise me when the EOGD name stayed with Zink (it made business sense to me that it would happen that way).

Today, I am still neutral about Robert Zink. Personally, both me and Robert know that I am not suitable to be a member of his Order...for personal reasons, including the fact that I talk back too much.

I belong to the BIORC because it is the Order that I am suited for. It does not mean that I do not talk to people of other Orders; in fact, I had friends in all the major Golden Dawn Orders.

Over the years, I have heard three major complaints (or crimes) cited against Zink. And only two of them, I have heard beyond the anonymous commentors on the internet (yes, one of the major complaints has no independent verification, or at least no one I know has confirmed it). Of the two remaining complaints, one boils down to Orders do things their own way; and the other is just business, even if it makes the EOGD sound like a badly ran Amway. Yes, I believe that the one should keep people out, but people are free to do what they will with their own money.

And here is the rub--the two complaints that I had verified can be said about almost all the other Golden Dawn Orders with just variations of the song (the tune remains the same).

(Please note that if someone I trusted verified the third accusation, I would cease to be neutral about Zink himself, but would still remain neutral about the EOGD itself. I imagine that also annoys some people.)

If Robert Zink is evil because of the two things that he is actually guilty of, then the entire leadership of Golden Dawn is probably evil, including the self-appointed white hats. Because I do not know of a single Order that does not insist on doing things their particular way, and few that are not ran as if they are a form of business (and for the record, the GD Order that insists that it is not a business the most is the most guilty of being a business from where I sit).

So there you have it, I will probably remain neutral about Robert Zink and the majority of the other Golden Dawn leaders until the cows come home (I will admit that I loathe one of the GD leaders because they and their membership decided that it was ok to trash my reputation--I had to put up with that from my family; I do not have to put up with that trash from them). If this fact offends you, please feel free never to read another word that I write.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Anonymous comments are not proof

One of the things that I have been thinking about lately is how much weight one should place on blog and forum comments made by anonymous people. And by "anonymous," I mean people who either openly post as an anonymous (and perhaps unregistered) user, as well as those who use a handle such as "the Golden Dawn avenger"--a handle that actually tells you only that the person behind the handle has a big ego.

There are two reasons why I have been thinking about this.

One, I am in the process of setting up a blog to collect all the book reviews that I have done in various places. I have needed to do this for awhile. It has become more urgent, due to the fact that I am starting to recieve books from some GoodReads drawings that I recently entered (I have recieved the first two books today).

Do I allow comments on the Book Review blog? Or do I just refuse to allow comments through? And does it matter either way? (Please note that my book reviews were called into question earlier this anonymous and faceless people.)

The other reason I have been thinking about anonymous comments is watching the comments being made on one of my blog posts on this very blog. There has been one person who has been pointing out dirt about Robert Zink--provided that you place any stock in comments that direct you to other comments made on another blog by anonymous people.

Personally, I do not need to hear anonymous comments about Zink to have an opinion of the man. After all, I had internet dealings with the man (we are not favorite people of each other); plus, I have done some "exit counseling" with some of his former membership--enourgh to know that I am definitely not suited to be one of his students.

The same holds true of several other people in the Golden Dawn community. Between the grapevine and my own interactions with people, I have a really good idea of who is what type of lunatic without having to read anonymous comments about them. And I am sure that they feel the same way about me--we all know that I am a lunatic with a soapbox.

And honestly, I find that the way that anonymous comments are presented as "proof" painful to watch because of the double standard that is applied to them. Simply put, an anonymous comment is considered to be proof when it supports your stated conclusion, but is considered a falsehood when it does not support your argument. If it is undermining your competition, an anonymous comment is proof and perfectly acceptable because people need to be able to present evidence without fear. But the same comment is it attacks your position must be coming from the political sock puppet of your enemy and is a complete lie, therefore anonymous comments should never be considered proof that you too are special type of lunatic.

Of course, most proof in the occult community tends to be treated the same way. Scholars have a double standard applied to them (if they support your argument, they are a good scholar; if not, they are a fraud who should be kicked out of the academy). Business practices and recruiting techniques are ok when you use them, but fraud when other people use them. A simple statement of a claim of ancient knowledge is accepted point blank by one group's membership while the same type of claims are considered lies when made by another group.

It is enourgh to make one want to declare that everyone is a liar and a fraud. And far more simple too. Of course, I have gotten to the stage where I am just starting to ignore any comment that is made by someone that I do not personally know. But let's be honest, being called a neo-nazi and told outright that it is ok for others to destory one's reputation because you do not belong to the one real Golden Dawn makes one dislike anyone who stands behind "anonymous" or "enemy of all false GD Orders" and calls you names.

So do not expect me to accept blog and forum comments presented by anonymous posters of proof of anything. After all, I know enourgh people who are posting using their real names that I do not need to see evidence that is untraceable. You would not accept my statements as proof if I hid my identity, so why should I trust you when you do the same?