Thursday, April 30, 2009

Open Full Moon Dates for 2009

Hearthstone Community Church

Open Full Moon Dates for 2009
May 8
June 5
July 3
July 31
Sept 4
Nov 6
Nov 27

There is no OFM for December 2009.

Meets at the First Unitarian Church
at 14th and Lafayette, Denver Colorado

Doors open at 7 pm.
Ritual starts at 7:30 pm.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why I let some comments though

Something that I would like my readers to be aware of is that I occasionally will let a comment though simply because it sparks off the idea of a possible future blog entry, and I want my readers to have a chance to see the comment in its original context.

There is a comment that I let though earlier this week that falls under that category. It is not that I am trying to insult anyone; it is simply that it is a soapbox I plan on standing on.

(The reason I have not written the entry yet is that I consider a couple of papers and a quiz to be more important. Hopefully Friday, I will have time to address the part of it that I want to. In the meantime, please remember I am both a writer and a college student.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Unified Golden Dawn, is it even possible? Part One

Over the last week, since the posting of several Golden Dawn videos posted up on YouTube by the Hermetic Golden Dawn (Alpha et Omega in the Inner), I have been thinking about the possibility of an unified Golden Dawn.

[For the record, I have absolutely no idea how to make a trademark notation on this blog; the group that I am talking about is the one that holds the European trademark, and they are big on making sure that everyone knows that they hold the trademark. Unfortunately, I have never figured out exactly what is trademarked, and what is a violation of their rights as a business.

Some of my readers will know that I am sensitive to trademark issues. My father had to change the name of his business due to a flawed trademark search (back in the '70s); it caused a lot of problems. And it is the reason that I react to the whole issue as if it is all about money, and money only.

There is a little bit more at stake than just money as the rest of my thoughts may show. At this point, I would like to apologize to everyone that I am about to make upset. This is an impossible post to write; after all, it is going to upset everyone.]

The conclusion that I have came to is that we are as far away from an unified Golden Dawn as we were in 1901 after the Revolt of the Adepts. For those who have not studied Golden Dawn history, there were several rival Orders that came out of the Revolt; none of which really got along with one another and all claiming to be the only one really working the system properly.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

This last week, several of the Golden Dawn forums and blogs have been busy talking about the errors and merits of what was presented in the videos. Some mud was also slung. Part of it is merely because of past wounds earned during the struggle to be the last Order standing in modern times; the other part was actually based on differences in training and experience.

In the end, everyone has agreed that if you don't agree with their opinion, you are wrong.

Or almost everyone.

And this makes me think that the internet and legal battles have insured that no peaceful co-existence is possible among the Big Name Orders, and that the little independent lodges should prepare to be destoryed.

I so hope that this is merely the paranoia whispering in my ear like a bloated toad.

[For those who do not know, I have been involved in several battles in both the ceremonial and wiccan communities that boil down to "I am the only legitimate XXX in the entire state"; it makes one a touch paranoid, especially one has been expelled merely for not giving absolute obedience to a leader.]

At this point, any call for an unified Golden Dawn is going to be shouted down. I am open to being proven wrong. But in order to have an unified Golden Dawn, or even one where people get along peaceful with the members of the other Golden Dawn Orders, trust has to be possible. And this last week has proven that trust is a rare item in our community.

[Proof that I don't have a large stock of trust left can be showed by the fact that I am concerned that I can get sued for not giving proper trademark notation. If I can not summon enourgh trust to come out and just say what I want to say, and end up spending fifteen minutes trying to make sure everyone know that there is a trademark involved, how likely is it that I will ever trust anyone from the Big Name Orders enough to actually sit in the same room with any of them?]

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Golden Dawn YouTube Video

For those of you who are curious, there is a video that was recently posted to YouTube involving the recent Golden Dawn Paris Centenial Celebration.

My inner critic so wants to make comments about the way that the officers were doing the rituals, and I know that it is merely that I was taught to do things differently.

Original Post: 11 April 09
Updated: 14 April 09

The original link was disabled; replaced with another link that leads to the same set of videos.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Friday night's Open Full Moon was interesting. As I noted in an earlier posting, it was conducted by Amy Harper (Nyteshade). I ended up being one of the ritual officers (the Wise Man/Elder aspect of the Lord).

And one of the children that ended up going though the ritual was the daughter of one of my friends. This amused me. I was very glad that I got to be an officer for this ritual.

This particular girl has taken a liking to me. I have noticed several times during past rituals that she is watching me, mirroring the gestures that I am making. She is picking up some non-wiccan gestures; I use a set of modified Golden Dawn gestures during the calling of the quarters.

So being an officer during her introduction to the local wiccan community seems completely natural to me.

Now I know that there are some people who misunderstand what a Wiccaning is. It is NOT a dedication to the path. None of the children who took part in the ritual are old enough to undergo that ritual yet.

When you are dedicated to the path, you have to be old enough to make that decision. It is like joining a lodge (Order), you have to be of legal age or thereabouts.

A Wiccaning is not an obligation for the child; rather it is an obligation of the community. It is a sign that the community is conscious of its obligation to provide guidance to the children of the community.

And considering how I like to appear to be a neutral bystander, it amuses me that chance made me openly admit that I am affecting this little girl's opinion of Wiccans.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Children welcome

Tonight's Open Full Moon ritual is going to be done by Amy Harper (Nyteshade); it is going to be the annual Wiccaning that she does every year. Both her and Alia believe that we should introduce our children to our spiritual beliefs, so that they are aware of the option.

In many ways, I believe that Golden Dawn should also do this. The Freemasons have a couple of youth organizations; there are plenty of books for wiccans and pagans. But Golden Dawn has nothing, or at least nothing that I am aware of.

Though I would not like to step forward and deal with it myself; imagine the mud that would be sling over that concept. But if we don't do it, who will tell them that this path exists?

Friday, April 3, 2009

How are Forums moderated?

Last month, Servitor Lucem posted the following question about someone who might be a poser (in my comment section): On moderated fora, why do such posts get to the list? Now there is a mystery.

And while I do not know the specifics of that particular case, I do know something about the moderation of internet forums. After all, I have done that myself on occasion. So exactly how and why are internet forums moderated?

The how is that the owner, and sometimes a couple of other people they appoint, chose to approve posts before they are "published" on the internet.

There are various levels of moderation which makes it hard sometimes to figure out who the moderators are. For instance, on the Golden Dawn Forum, which is moderated by VH Frater CN (Martin), Pat Zalewski is on the "automatically approved" setting; his posts go though as soon as he hits "post". Due to this, new members often think that he is one of the moderators; he is not; it is just that his posts are preapproved.

There are a couple of forums where my own membership is on auto-accept for my posts. I am not a moderator, but I have gained the trust of the forum owners so my posts just go though without having to wait for a moderator to approve them manually.

Conversely, some people have annoyed the moderators of various groups so much that none of their posts get approved. The most infamous example of this is Enochian Chess Steve. Given his style of arguing and the fact that he does so much advertising, most Golden Dawn forums are not letting his posts though at all.

In between these two states are all the rest of the members. The very fact that some posts make it to the boards without moderation makes it hard to tell if your own posts are getting though. There are a couple of forums where occasionally it can take a couple of days for a post to be approved. Sometimes you can even tell when someone thought that their post was rejected because they rewrite it and try again, and end up with a couple of posts on the same subject (one complete with an apology for the rejected post that actually ended up being approved).

To understand why certain posts get approved and others rejected, we must understand the why of moderation.

At one time on the internet, moderation was not even possible. Yes, back in the first pixel age, everybody's posts were automatically accepted. It was a happy time, then some unhappy people invented flames and spam; they ruined it for the rest of us.

When I first started running forums, I did not use moderation. I thought that there was better uses for my time.

Then I had a forum go down in flames. Within a forty-eight hour period, there was so much mud slinging and setting fire to people that I was forced to put the forum on moderation. The forum never recovered.

Since then, my forums are either private (invite only) or automatically moderated. The latest one that I am kicking around ideas for, Rocky Mountain Golden Dawn (I might be changing the name of it), is already set for all posts to be moderated. The doors have not even been opened yet (though you could join if you want to), and I am presuming that trouble could happen if I am not careful.

If it wasn't for flames and spam, none of us would go though the trouble of moderating posts; it is a time consuming task; it also involves checking you email on a regular basis, a pain if you are busy with other projects.

So how do I personally chose what posts are allowed to go though (the same holds true for the comment section of my blogs)?

First off, I have a short list of people that I trust. As long as they do not spam the group to death (the occasional ad is fine, but you better be contributing a lot more than just that), I just let their posts though. Some people will never get on this list: spammers, flamers, and politicians (do not tell me your Order is better than mine).

After that, I will admit that it is based on whim and my mood. On a day, I am feeling good, I will let things though that on a bad day, I would reject automatically. Then there is the fun-filled, let's feed the sharks moments.

Like the recent might be a poser, his posts are just the type I might let though because I am curious to see the reactions of the other members. It is like throwing a bloody pig into a shark tank; it is amusing to see the feeding frenzy.

(I never claimed to be a nice person, have I?)

Now, one of the big things that the leaders of the Big Name Orders would like to see is the automatic rejection of anoymous attacks. Now, I have rejected several attempts to post links to smear sites in my comment section here. Personally, I reject such things because they are not what I want to read. And I have no desire to create them myself ( I believe that the best Orders will succeed based on what they have to offer to their membership; nothing else matters).

But I am not sure that it will become standard policy of moderated forums. And there are always the rogue forums that crop up (typically called "watchdog"). But that is a subject for another day. So there you have it: it is sadistic whim that allows the posts of possible posers though; someone wanted to be amused by watching the sharks feed.

(By the way, I am innocent; I am not a member of that particular forum's staff. As always when talking about the workings of other group, this is only my opinion; I could be wrong.)

Witches Brew Closed

Witches Brew, a local pagan/magickal friendly coffeeshop has closed their old location. This is actually early; small misunderstanding with the electric company (the electric company's employee put in the wrong date to shut the lights off---opps!).

Their new location is 5300 W44th, Denver (of course) CO 80212. They aiming for mid-April to open at the new location.

In the meantime, you have to make your own coffee.