Sunday, April 20, 2014

Columbine Fifteen years Ago

In 1999, two students opened fire at Columbine on this day, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school's library. Since then, there has been more school shootings, and college shootings, and university shootings, and shopping mall shootings, and theater shootings, and military base shootings, and...well, you watch the news.

It is an issue that I care about because my wife is a school teacher. When the Columbine shooting happened in April 1999, I was dating Kh.S.--and the news scared the hell out of me.

(The local theater shooting that happened awhile back also shook me--the shooter had attended the same university that I did, and it happened at a film that I had considered going to the opening of.)

Since Columbine happened, I have watched the battle between the pro-gun supporters and the gun control supporters. I have seen politicians lose elections over the issue. And I have watched people condemn others who state that even if we cannot agree on what to do about guns, at least we should be able to agree on gun safety.

Are we any closer to making sure that events like this never happen again? Honestly, I feel that we have not made any progress at all. But that is probably just a bad gut reaction. What I do know is that the NRA has made it difficult to get good data on the problem and possible solutions. And that no amount of data will change anyone's mind.

Therefore, the only thing that we can really do is remember the lives lost at Columbine High School in April 1999, and cross our fingers that someday someone comes up with a solution that does not involve "taking everyones' guns away" or "arming everyone, including my blind grandmother" that is actually acceptable to both sides. Of course, odds are that the sun will burn out and explode long before that actually happens, but no one has ever accused me of being realistic, have they?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Open letter to Watcher of the Dawn and Mike Thomson and David Griffin

Dear Watcher of the Dawn, Mike Thomson, and David Griffin,

Today, Mike Thomson decided to write a blog post revealing why the good folks behind Watcher of the Dawn write posts badmouthing David Griffin. You can read his post here. And you can read what Watcher of the Dawn does here. 

There is only one problem with Mike Thomson's post--I am not actually part of the staff that does Watcher of the Dawn.

But at this point in time, I so want to be a member of their staff. Of course, this is much like the fact that I wished I created Hog Dee, or was the ever amusing pine teeth wearing Mitzy Gaynor.

(And if I ever convince the creator of Hog Dee to allow me ownership of the character, Hog Dee will return!!! I wonder if Watcher wants a feature cartoon starring numpties.)

Yes, my comment to Inriel Lux was true, except that I was speaking for myself, and not the staff of Watcher of the Dawn. My hatred of David Griffin was sparked by his inability to live with a THREE STAR book review. By casting me as a conspiracy member, he made sure that I would remain a hater of all things Griffin. I went straight from neutral book reviewer to a torch carrying rebel against the "one ond only true Golden Dawn Order" (trademarked and marketed nine ways to Sunday).

As for things I am actually guilty of, I just hit "publish" on three blog posts that I had wrote, but never published. I figure if I am going to be the center of a flame war, I just as well be up-to-date with my hatred of Griffin. I am not sure why Mike Thomson cares about how people view Griffin; but hell if I am going to be damned, I just as well be damned.

So to Watcher of the Dawn, do not let Mike Thomson blaming an innocent reader of your blog stop you from doing what is right. Warn people about the numpties!

To David Griffin, keep being yourself--because as long as you badmouth other people, you will be hated.

To Mike Thomson, keep up the hatred and blaming of people--I can always use the blog traffic.

To everyone else, consider buying an ebook or bumper sticker from me.

As for myself, I will continue to be here, the same hateful person that I have always been. Writers like me are not loved...mainly because we are the enemies of everyone who might be guilty of harming occult students.

Yours in blood, hate, and sweat, Morgana Draconis, aka Morgan Drake Eckstein.

You drove me into the conspiracy

[This post is being written on September 27, 2012--and it is a prediction of the HOGD/AO reaction to the fact that a book of Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls has been published. I am writing it now because I am sure if what I am predicting comes true, I will not feel like being even this polite.]

Yes, I willingly volunteered to write a commentary on one of the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls when a member of the "evil conspiracy" asked me to. Yes, I knew that the profits were going to the Golden Dawn Legal Defense Fund. And yes, I knew who else were writing commentaries.

Well, the first statement is true. The other two statements were good guesses on my part. (I saw a partial "proof" copy just a couple of days ago, so I know that my guesses were true.) I will admit that I didn't ask certain questions once I heard that it was a "non-profit" community project, and that Nick Farrell was involved.

Now, I do not necessarily agree with everything that Nick says. I think that he knows this. For one thing, him and me have different opinions about what goes into running an esoteric Order--I suspect this is because I come from the "back of the bookstore" and "let's talk about this over coffee" schools of training; in many ways, his training was better than mine (not hard to accomplish at all). For a second thing, Nick casts Samuel Macgregor Mathers in the role of evil genius; I am not sure that Mathers was nearly as conscious of the effects that his instructions would have. (I will talk more about that in another blog post--if I haven't already by the time this entry is actually published.)

So why would I willing volunteer for this project, especially when I knew that it would get me labeled as a member of an evil conspiracy.

Because the HOGD/AO has already claimed that I am a member of the evil conspiracy.

When I was asked to volunteer for this project, it was just after the little McTroll name-calling session that occurred after the Biased Book Review Battle of 2012 (aka Nick Farrell's positive book reviews must be all written by members of an evil conspiracy--no one could actually think that Farrell's books had any real merit). In the case of that battle, I got labeled as a "McTroll."

After being labeled a member of the conspiracy (which I wasn't) and having my reputation dragged through the mud--yes, I willingly volunteered to do this project.

I did briefly think about withdrawing from the project when the HOGD/AO announced their Peace and Harmony Pow Wow. Clear up to the second that I realized that peace between me and the HOGD/AO meant me ceasing to write about anything occult.

In particular, two comments kept me in the project. The first one was by an anonymous commenter, who lumped me into a list of bad writers and bloggers.
It is a laundry list of who the HOGD/AO considers to be agents for the conspiracy.
A couple of people on this list are friends of mine. And a couple of them I would love to work with, even if it is only getting an article into the same book as them. Plus, lets be honest, they have influenced my approach to magic and Golden Dawn more than Griffin ever has.

The second comment got my Irish up. (Note, both of these comments were made after the HOGD/AO announced their peace effort...hence, my opinion that only my complete disappearance would be classified as peaceful from their viewpoint.) And it is by Griffin's own wife. Even assuming that she was reacting to a death threat, I found it highly disturbing as a writer.
Now, let's be honest--I do not agree with her base opinion that I was hurting the egregore of Golden Dawn, especially the part of it that belongs to the HOGD/AO. But her tone implied that they (the HOGD/AO) can do anything that they want and not have to apologize for it, while the rest of us need to get permission for everything that we do.

(For the record, the part in red is my personal commentary...for it describes how I felt about the comments.)

Having dragged my reputation through the mud, and labeling me an "evil conspiracy member"---it was natural for me to say, "Yes" to a project that I knew was going to be classified a plot by the conspiracy.

In fact, I am not sure that I would have qualified to be involved in this project if it wasn't for the HOGD/AO. After all, I was a neutral clear up until they decided to declare me a member of the conspiracy for giving Nick's book a positive review. And let's be honest, I never bothered to prove that I was a Golden Dawn expert, preferring to remain a lunatic with a soapbox. I honestly think that the HOGD/AO labeling me a McTroll got me this gig.

So I would like to give the HOGD/AO a big thanks for labeling me a member of the conspiracy, and allowing me to get involved in this latest project. I learned a heck of a lot from this project, and it is going on my resume.

This blog exists for my purposes

[This post was originally written on February 6th, and was meant to go live on February 28th 2013, but I de-scheduled it because someone made a fuss about DMK not playing nice. So I thought that I would play nice...turns out that I should have issued it because the people who insist that the rest of us should play nice--don't.]

In light of a set of planned series of posts that I intend to write, I need to issue the following reminder:

This blog exists for my purposes, and not yours.

It does not exist to support your version of esoteric history or occult technology. And it is definitely not meant to convince people that your version of magic and occult, especially your chosen Order, is correct, true or even worthwhile.

In other words, this blog is meant to further my stuff--not yours. Therefore the ideas and facts and beliefs talked about do not have to support your chosen version of the world; after all, it is my version of reality that I am talking about.

You have your own avenues of promoting your version of reality. This is mine.

Also note that as a writer, many of my posts are rebundled into other projects (some of which I charge money for), therefore "fair use" does not mean that you can copy my entire post to prove one of your points. Robbing my cat of food will just p*** me off--and it will make me an enemy of yours.

And this concludes this obligatory round of disclosure issued because for some people, diversity means anything that supports their position, and conspiracy means anything that doesn't.

How to foresee outbreaks of flamewars and hordes of trolls from the true GD

If you ever want to be able to predict flame war outbursts, and how David Griffin and his loyal following are going to respond, just keep in mind three things.

One, David Griffin wants to turn the Golden Dawn into his own personal business, have a monopoly, and have control over the entire system (aka control the trademarked name and control its entire membership). Hence his love of secrecy and traditional lore that you can only receive if you accept him as the gatekeeper and true guardian of the Golden Dawn tradition.

Two, David Griffin wants to be known as the foremost authority on Golden Dawn and the esoteric traditions, yet remain humble at the same time. Hence his bragging that the Secret Chiefs have chosen him as their sole contact and voice.

Three, David Griffin carries a grudge against anyone that has helped prevent him from accomplishing the first two goals. Anything that anyone says or does that makes it harder for him to accomplish the first two goals will result in a flame war attack against the statement or action, along with a character assassination attempt.

[This post was written on May 22, 2013 and is being held in reserve for the next time that the trolls decide to come after me for upsetting the "rightful and only true leader of the Golden Dawn."]

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Magic Machine by Nick Farrell (book review)

One of the things that amuses me is the occasional outpouring of "secrets must be kept" when someone dares to publish something that is already well past its "keep secret until" date. Today, the source of my amusement was the debate on whether or not, Nick Farrell should have published pictures of the walls of the Vault of the Adepts.

My own position...well let's see...

Venus Vault Wall Study.
...I first published a set of Vault wall studies on this blog starting in June 2009, shortly after the Book of the Tomb was open-sourced by Nick Farrell. And I have kicked around actually doing some Vault wall merchandise...something that I may still do. After all, a quick image search on Google will yield dozens of hits, and there are some crass people already doing Rose Cross lamen merchandise (all seem to be using the same picture to boot). So I really think that secrecy on this particular subject has flown the coop. It is now time to start making sure that people are getting it right. Now that my position on secrecy and much of it still apllies to the Vault walls is out of the way, let's move on to reviewing the book in question.

As I have already said, secrecy has flown the coop on this one--it is time to make sure that people are getting it right. And this is what The Magic Machine--The Golden Dawn Vault in Colour by Nick Farrell is about, helping people get the vault colors right.

The most valuable piece of this book is the eight colored plates showing the general key to the background color of the Vault walls, and the individual planetary Vault walls. And while I prefer mixed pigments over pixels, I wish I would had this book earlier in my occult career when I was preparing to build a Vault of the Adepts.

(Before you ask, the project never got past the study stage, due to the sudden vacating of anyone who might have needed to be vaulted by the current lodge that I belong to...it was a strange summer that year.)

Comparing my first study and later ones (I have done several over the years) to the plates in The Magic Machine, I am comforted to see that I am in the general ballpark, not exactly the same colors as Farrell is using, but close enough when one accounts for the difference in methods used. It was also comforting to read that someone else stumbled upon the problem with the Vault's ceiling--something that drives me a little batty.

Now I imagine that some people in the Golden Dawn tradition will claim that he is wrong about how the colors are created. Of course, if he is wrong, then so am I--and I was initially working from the texts published by Regardie and some misc. unpublished notes from a modern Order, and not directly from the Book of the Tomb. Then again, I just shake my head about how the critics have done their own Vaults--it is like they are working from a completely different set of instructions that have nothing to do with any actual Golden Dawn material.

Besides the meat of the book, Farrell does give hints on how to use the pictures, general information about the Vault of the Adepts, and a nice set of planetary deity calls to key your work with the Vault walls to.

I recommend getting this book if you ever think that you might need to build a Vault or work with one.

Five out of five stars.

The Magic Machine--The Golden Dawn Vault in Colour is a limited edition hard-cover book available from Lulu. 

[Required FTC disclosure: This review was based on a low res electronic copy of the book given to the reviewer to ensure a timely review of the book.]

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Address from the hot dry sands

Because of a lack of information coming out of the dry spring heat of Nevada, I present a bit of New Age Nonsense from the remarkable New Age Bullshit Generator--can you tell the difference between that and some of the stuff that New Age gurus actually say?

(Start report here...)

You and I are storytellers of the stratosphere.

Today, science tells us that the essence of nature is science. We vibrate, we vibrate, we are reborn.

It is a sign of things to come.

As you reflect, you will enter into infinite coherence that transcends understanding. The akashic record may be the solution to what’s holding you back from an unimaginable metamorphosis of transformation. Through Kabala, our hearts are immersed in awareness.

To embark on the myth is to become one with it. By deepening, we live. This life is nothing short of a blossoming revolution of ancient being.

The dreamscape is calling to you via superpositions of possibilities. Can you hear it? Have you found your path? It can be difficult to know where to begin.

Humankind has nothing to lose.

Being, look within and awaken yourself. How should you navigate this amazing world? Although you may not realize it, you are cosmic.

The complexity of the present time seems to demand a flowering of our brains if we are going to survive. We can no longer afford to live with turbulence. Without conscious living, one cannot grow.

(End report here.)

Unicorns are your friends, even when they are eating out your brain.
Yes sir we bob, I can't tell the difference, and neither can you. Remember boys and girls, if your brain is rotten, the zombies will not eat it.