Saturday, May 29, 2010

Still mixing Wicca with Golden Dawn

There are moments I can tell that I am my mother's son; today is one of those moments. Yesterday, I was told by a couple of people that, in their humble opinions, I should not be mixing Wicca with Golden Dawn. In their opinion, the traditions need to be kept separate.

I tried a subtle "Gee, I guess that I am going to have to resign from one or the other." My friends probably caught the tone I used. No one else did.

This morning I realized that the only way to keep a tradition pure is to create separate communities for the traditions. Outside influences must be banned.

"Here is your copy of Regardie big book. This is the only book that you are allowed to read and use during your entire esoteric career. No reading of books by other writers, no talking to members of other groups or traditions, and do not ever shake hands with anybody."

The reason for such extreme measures? Simply, the "physical" body of the traditions (egregores) are human beings. Unfortunately, human beings cannot isolate experiences in separate files like computers do.

Human beings are organic computers that always have all their files open. Every experience we have touches all our other experiences. We are a holographic computer, reflecting everything that we have ever experienced.

And the only way to keep the traditions pure is to isolate its members (perhaps from birth) from the members of all other traditions. No TV, no books, and no internet. If someone is interacting with people who are not of your tradition, then you are going to have corruption of your tradition. The only way to keep a tradition pure is to make sure that your membership never deals with the information contained in the other traditions.

Radical? Yes. True? Hell yes.

I do not believe in pure traditions. I am a Global Rosicrucian. I am still mixing Wicca with Golden Dawn, Runes with Geomantic Glyphs, Chaos with Discordianism, alchemy with paints. I am a citizen of the planet Earth. I am not a nationalist, not a purist, not an isolatist.

And if you are a believer in maintaining a pure tradition, a pure egregore, you really should not be reading my blog or any of my writings.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Started working on the props for Junes OFM

Yesterday (partially because I did not feel like working on the writing and partially because I had help), I started to create the props to illustrate the floor diagram(s) that I am going to be talking about at the June Open Full Moon ritual.

Well, that is not completely true. Actually I started making the props several months ago. But they were drawn on the round cardboard pieces that you find under some brands of frozen pizza. It was not visually pleasing.

The new props are actually in color. I am using the traditional MM color scheme. And wax crayons...we thought of using pastels, but my container of sealant has...well, sealed itself.

We still have a way to go before the props are finished, but at least they have been started.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Working on the floor diagram for the June OFM

Given the fact that I cannot seem to get the willpower together today to write, I am going to work on the floor diagram for the June Open Full Moon Ritual instead. It is a combination of something that I was working on before Bast Temple started (actually before the EOEW formed), something that I grabbed from Pat Zalewski, and some research into the older esoteric systems.

A large part of the work I have to do is to create floor markers to illustrate the diagram for the audience (I think of them as an audience)---a small 8 inch square diagram is just going to be too small to be comfortably seen by everyone. So myself and other lodge member (and probably my goddaughter) are going to color floor markers instead that can be seen from the other side of the circle.

Of course, being able to see the markers from across the room is not the same as being able to understand what the diagram implies, but that is a whole different problem for another day.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reminder and update about healing request for Isaac Bonewits

A reminder that tomorrow across the world, at 9 pm (your local time zone), that Phaedra Bonewits requests that you do healing magic for her husband, Isaac.

"Isaac's tumors fade away. Thirty more years with Phae."

The latest update posted by Phaedra:

Isaac is back in the hospital and is not doing well. He has bleeding from an undetermined source that may not be repairable. We are anxiously awaiting both test results and ritual results. From his hospital bed, Isaac can see the full moon through his window. Our thoughts will be will everyone during tomorrow night's rites.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It is the amazing Altar cam

It is the amazing Altar, it is just a camera on the end of a taser.

Tonight, the local news was doing a report about how you can install a mini-camera on the end of a taser gun. There are some who are pushing to get all police departments to start using these taser cams. The purpose of them is to help figure out what went wrong when someone gets tasered by the cops (especially in the case of the prep being injuried).

Ok, maybe this would be a good idea. But an even better idea would be the Altar cam. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to replay your rituals and see exactly what you did wrong? "Gee, exactly when did I say that a visit from XYZ would be more pleasant than a plague of frogs?"

Now, someone will point out that this is the purpose of the ritual journal. Well, that may be true. But given some of my results, I would like a more detailed record. Besides a Altar cam would allow me to figure out what type of rituals the cats are doing when I am not home. And that is what really important, isn't it?

Trollish editing

There was some trollish editing done today, and I was the troll (or at least, that is how I am going to tell the story). But before I begin my story, here is my daily horoscope from (iVillage):

Expect a setback. It isn't likely to be the end of the road for any project, but it is likely to tie you up for longer than you would like. If you handle it well, you draw the right kind of attention to yourself.

Well, that last part is not going to happen (because I am a troll). As for the rest of it, this is one of those days when my daily horoscope was correct.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an inquiry about some of the information on the Bast Temple website. I hoped that it was just a misunderstanding, and not what I really thought it was all about. Today, any doubts that I had about the situation was cleared up.

The original inquiry was about the authority of Bast Temple. The inquiry indicated that there was some confusion about where the lodge's authority was coming from. I honestly did not see how anyone could be confused about it. The inquiry expressed concern that some might mistake Bast Temple as a lodge of the Order this person was a member of.

Today, it become "Cease and Desist of using our legally trademarked 'service mark.'" In other words, do not use the name of our Order, or any of its variants without legal permission unless you are giving a link to us, or acknowledging your past membership in the Order.

So I can't tell you the name of the Order in question. Nor the subject matter. If you are really smart, you can figure it out. A long memory will also help.

Now ask me what I think that this is really about? Go on, I dare you. Or better yet, just take a wild guess.

That is right---one of Bast Temple's pages was showing up on the first page of the Google results for this Order. And if you put in Denver or Colorado into the search request, the Bast Temple's page would be the very first result.

(The page would also got a lot of first and second page hits for the subject matter that this Order specializes in if Denver or Colorado was included.)

And it was NOT the page that the concern was being expressed about. Furthermore, this page actually gave a link to the correct web address of this Order.

(Let me explain the importance of that. A few of years ago, the then-current leader [aka webmaster] decided to close shop; and when the original Head and founder of the Order learned what happened, the founder decided to claim that the site had just moved instead. I know the truth; I have the webmaster's original announcement archived in PDF form, though I did modify my pages to match the founder's story. Bast Temple was the first to link to the new site after the original web site disappeared.)

Now, I suspect that someone wanted me to erase every page that mentioned this Order. To literally, lay waste to the lodge's website. Instead, I spent the day being a troll and just crossing out the name of this Order, one of its members, and making a new full disclosure statement. Oh, I did delete one page which was scheduled for deletion this summer anyways. If they would have waited until after the June OFM, their request would have been fulfilled without no ill-will at all being exchanged.

The sad truth of the matter is that Bast Temple was not getting that many web hits from the name of this Order, and definitely not any new members. If they think forcing me to remove the information is going to increase their numbers, they are sadly mistaken. And if the person who started this process thinks that it is going to result in him getting any members for his planned new project that he would not have gotten otherwise, he is also sadly mistaken (a lodge reworking that Order's material).

(And does he actually plan on mentioning the name of this Order in connection with this project? Place your bets now.)

The simple truth is that we are involved in catering to different markets. Bast Temple would be more likely to blackball an applicant suitable to this other Order than actually let them into the lodge. Hence, we wanted to redirect without having to do the work of the application process. Except now, we cannot actually direct them to the place that they are more suitable to go before they apply---because we are not allowed to mention the name of the Order that they actually belong in (and I do not give links without talking about the site or group I am linking to). And forcing us to talk to an applicant in person more suitable for them (and not just redirect them before the application process begins) just means that we get to tell the truth about why I left that Order---trust issues abound after that story is related.

(And I so want to tell someone that story about now, but I won't online for STRICT legal reasons. I am a troll, not a muckraker.)

Full disclosure: For STRICT legal reasons, I have to be a troll. I was willing to redirect people to this Order, and mention that I found some small merit in the sytem before today's events. Now, I can't. And I might be a little annoyed also. Hence, I have became a troll. At least now, I have an excuse not to trim my beard or get a haircut---so it is not a total loss. Thanks. Now if someone could point me to a nice local bridge to spend my summer days under, everyone will be happy.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Expensive but unused occult books

Yesterday, I was looking though my email, and opened the latest advertisment from New Falcon Publications. New Falcon is offering for sale five leather bound copies of The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic, one for each element (complete with an unique symbol), signed by Lon Milo DuQuette. They are going to retail for $999 each.

(There is a discount if you buy one before June 5, 2010.)

And my first thought was "Here are five copies of the book that are never actually going to be used."

At a certain price level, occult books hit the point where they are so expensive that their only purpose is as collector items; no one is ever crack the them open to actually use them because to do so would devalue them.

(It reminds me of comic books. There are people who buy comic books, seal them in plastic, solely for their investment value.)

The only exceptation to this tends to be books that a few people use for their "super secret initiated knowledge." And then they will sell you the information for a (large) pretty penny, though they will say it is "freely provided to the members of their Order."

(By the way, if you wrote the book in question, this is ok. I only find this really wrong when a Chief is ripping off the work of other writers and charging outrageous sums for access to the informatio. If you are the one that did the work, assembling it and expending it, you deserve the opportunity to try to make a profit from your own skull sweat.)

In general, expensive occult books do not get used. It does not matter how great a book is, if you put a large enourgh price tag on it, no one will dare open the book in fear of damaging it.

Fortunately for me, and the occult community in general, we now have a ground leveler---the almighty PDF. Say what you will about PDFs, but they allow everyone access to the expensive books without anyone having to worry about damaging the investment value of their expensive copy.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Healing ritual request for Isaac Bonewits

Phaedra Bonewits has put out a healing request for her husband, Isaac Bonewits (author of Real Magic). Isaac has been fighting colon cancer for quite some time now, and has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, he has progressed to the point where he is just not strong enourgh to survive another round of chemo. His doctor has told them that Isaac needs a miracle.

Therefore, Phaedra would like the magical community to kick in the magic and do a "rolling thunder" healing ritual on the night of the full moon, May 27th at 9pm.

A "rolling thunder" ritual, for those who are not ever participated in one, creates an effect like a rolling thunderstorm. The base principle of how to create the effect is well known to ceremonial magicians; quite simply, you do the ritual at 9 pm based on your local time zone. Therefore, the east coast does it at 9 o'clock Eastern; central does it at 9 Central; 9 for those in the Mountain time zone; and yes, 9 o'clock local time for those in the Pacific time zone. The energies roll from one time zone to another.

As for what healing and magical techniques are used, Phaedra does not care. Her only other request, outside of it being done at 9 pm local time is that you use the following chant to link the energies raised: "Isaac's tumors fade away. Thirty more years with Phae."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tonight is the May 2010 OFM

Well, tonight is the May 2010 Open Full Moon ritual sponsored by Hearthstone Community Church. Which means that I really need to get cracking on my script for the June 2010 OFM.

I got some work to do before the next OFM rolls around. Besides the monthly newsletter column, I have to finish up several diagrams (though it will look like a single diagram is being used), rewrite my quarter calls, and actually jot down notes (and perhaps practice) the lecture section of my ritual (actually it is Bast Temple's ritual---but as most would say "What's the difference?").

Tonight, I am not going to do my usual announcement; instead I am going to be reminding people about the upcoming "Rolling Thunder" healing ritual request that Phaedra Bonewits made for Isaac's health.

For anyone reading this in Denver, and curious about the OFMs, there is a page on the Bast Temple website that goes into more detail about the Open Full Moon rituals. There is also a page with the dates for the rest of the year.

And if you just want the time and address of tonight's ritual, here it is:

First Unitarian Church at 14th and Lafayette, Denver Colorado (parking is tight in the neighborhood, so come early to find a spot). Doors open at 7 pm. Ritual starts at 7:30 pm. Suggested donation: five dollars (optional---give what you can afford).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Are so many books necessary?

Yesterday, my goddaughter looked at the number of books I have on shelves, stacked on the coffee table, tucked into the spare corners of the room, etc., and asked, "Do you have to have so many books?!"

Of course, I answered, "Yes." It was probably was said in the same tone my cats use when I ask them if it is necessary to chase squirrels and birds.

But my goddaughter does have a legitimate question; do I really need so many books?

My book buying (collecting) habit has been called an addiction. When I was regularly employed, I thought nothing about dropping two hundred dollars a month on books. I knew the staff of three book stores by their first names.

And if any publisher is reading this, I would just love getting free books to review. (Yes, I know that it is a long shot; my book reviews tend to be written in that hostile journalisitc mode that makes one suspect that an raving ax murderer would have been a better choice of a reviewer. But it never hurts to hint.)

Yet, I must admit that perhaps the modern occult student has too many books. Take for instance, my first experiences with Golden Dawn. A lot of people tell me that my opinion of how the system works, and much of my magical procedures, is not what Regardie siad was correct. Well, I am not a Regardie-ite.

My first experience of Golden Dawn was in physical lodge (not counting the techniques Kraig wrote about). I did not own the big yellow (red) book for many years (nowdays, it is black); I did not get my own copy until just before Bast Temple started. I did have a copy of the Llewellyn version, only partially read even to this day.

For me, the question is how did I see it done by others. So if I saw one of my fellow lodge members use the air dagger to do the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, I think that is correct, even if anyone else points to the big brick and screams Regardie says not to do that. (I have yet to locate the exact passage where Regardie says not to do it that way; but in all honesty, I am not that interested; after all, what I am doing works fine for me.)

I know a handful of books really well. There are a couple of books that I have approached much like a historian or literature major will approach a single text. Every single line is examined and re-examined, and the connections between the other parts of the piece are carefully puzzled out.

And before the publishing explosion of occult books that the sixties brought, this is actually how the student of the occult sciences would approach the system. We tend to forget that the greats of the esoteric sciences were working from a limited number of texts and opinions. We are so used to a new book being released every day that we forget that at one time, occult books were scarce.

Sometimes, I think that the modern occult student would be better off if they just stuck to a couple of books, and learned to work the system really well though actual work and textual analysis.

So am I doing this myself? Actually yes. I am in a program where I get about three new pages a week (sometimes more, sometimes less). The focus of my week tends to be isolated to these three pages. If there is a diagram involved, I end up hand-drawing the diagram. If there are myths mentioned, or ritual procedures, I research the mythology, or work as much of the ritual as I can.

And this is where my vast library comes in handy. Last night, my research involved ten books. In the end, only six pages were used...well, in fact, just six paragraphs.

On one hand, I need lots of books to do what I am doing. On the other hand, I really need to locate just those parts that relate to the lesson that I am studying this week. And I suspect that is true of all serious occult students.

So do we need all these occult books?----yes and no, the honest occult student must laugh.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Crying over dumb animals

This morning was one of those mornings that I must admit that my sister is right; my father would have absolutely no respect for me. One of his complaints about me while I was growing up is that I cried over dumb animals. While I did not cry this morning, it still felt like my heart was being ripped out. It is never a good day when it starts off with burying a dead cat. I only had Bruno for a year; I am going to miss the little goofball.

From Bag Full of Tricks

Monday, May 17, 2010

Golden Oldie Doomsday Cults Feb 2008

It is a Golden Oldie time, where much like the better cable networks we play a rerun for you. Going though the stacks, I found myself wondering what it was about February that brings out the doomsday cultist in me. Both of the posts that I have mentioned 2012 in were written in February (the first one in 2008, the second one this year).

This particular post comes from 2008. It just shows my natural bad attitude to the whole concept of doomsday in general. If you want to check out my bad attitude to 2012 in particular, hop over to the entry A Doomsday Like Any Other.

And remember these reruns are not free, so make sure that you buy a tin foil hat from our sponsor, Bast Temple. Providing the best Golden Dawn correspondence course printed on tin foil hats---that is Bast Temple. (Some assembly required. Initiations not included in the tin foil correspondence course. Astral initiations provided for an astronomical fee.)

One of the things I roll my eyes at are those people who are worried about the end of the world--the soothsayers of doomsday. The current doom is the end of the Mayan cycle, which ends on 2012. The soothsayers, and their believers, say that the world is going to come to a sudden end in a couple of years.

This particular theory is tied to the shifting of the magnetic poles. The shifting of the poles is a real thing, but it is hardly doomsday. The geological history of the Earth indicates that it has happened before and will happen again. The shifting of the poles, reversing the magnetic field around the Earth, is a minor inconvience, but we do want it to happen.

The mathematic models show that the shifting of the poles will bring the magnetic field of the Earth back up to full strength. This is a desirable thing. Without an eventual shift in the poles, based on the mathematical models, the magnetic field will weaken and disappear completely. That would be bad--rent the movie "The Core" if you want to see how bad it would be.

Personally, I would be more worried about a global economic crisis than I would be about the magnetic shift, but each to their own.

Doomsday are always with us; Revelations is happening everyday. Each of us has our own personal doomsday happening in our lives if we just look hard enough. For me, my doom is typically the next test or term paper that I have to cope with. For me, doomsday is up close and personal.

For many, it is not. And there are groups and fads that cater to them.

Yes, doomsday is catered. I would avoid the deviled eggs. I don't think that the ham is kosher. And who invented the Freemasons to our doomsday. But I disgress.

Yes, there are groups whose purpose is to prepare its members for doomsday. And there is always a new doomsday if it turns out that the previous doomsday was a false alarm.

I have belonged to several border-line doomsday cults. The first coven I belonged to was big on being prepared for a nuclear doomsday. A box of MREs (meals ready to eat--sure to survive a nuclear disaster because no one wants to eat them) and a lot of water was highly suggested, along with knowing where all the fall-out shelters were. Ironically, being prepared for a nuclear disaster ensures that you are prepared for other acts of god.

And when I was in the EOEW, there was the one meeting that drifted into getting ready for Y2K. Do you remember Y2K--the year that the world was supposed to end as all the world's computers crashed. If you want to know what I think of your average doomsday prediction ask me how I coped with Y2K.

Yes, I had some canned food, a small camp stove, and some bottled water. Toni would not allow me to buy a crossbow; in fact, she (like so many others) was appalled to learn that I believe that defending myself with deadly force is a real option in an emergency. Question my ethics all you want; at least I know my stance on how important my life is in comparsion to other random looters. Do you know how much value you place on your skin?

Toni got interested in Y2k late. In my opinion, too late. For her, it was a last minute thing.

I have been interested in doomsday since I was a teenager. Blame it on too much science fiction. In my opinion, you should be prepared to be thrust into the Hall of Judgment at any time. Doomsday will not be announced ahead of time; either will your last trumpet. If you are really concerned about doomsday, live every minute like its your last.

So it was with some amusement that I watched her learn about Y2K. I wasn't worried about Y2k. I had my nuclear stockpile; all I needed to get was a crossbow. It was only due to a lack of money that she didn't help drive up the price of bottled water.

But Toni is also an airhead. One I know who she was listening to (a good fortune teller on a personal level, can't hit the broadside of a barn on the global level); and two, she made some last minute changes in my perfectly good plan. She decided that we were going to stay at her place, not mine. That made my preparations useless. And she still won't let me invest in a crossbow.

For the record, I was not concerned with Y2K. The closer we got to the actual day, the less concerned I became. Why? I know something about programming computers. If Y2K was going to be a problem, we would have seen indications of it long before New Year's Day. I was not worried about the power plants shutting down, or planes falling out of the sky. I, much like my bosses, knew that the real problems of Y2K if any would be monetary.

How did my bosses plan on dealing with Y2K? Simple, they handed me a pencil and a pad of paper. It was a very business approach to doomsday. If doomsday happens, we will cater it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Practice makes perfect we hope

A Soror (Sister) and I did a walk-thur of the ritual today that we plan on doing at this June Open Full Moon ritual. It was not our first walk-thur for this ritual, and will not be the last. This is the most practice I have done for a ritual in ages (ignoring the daily work and Grade rituals which get a lot of stage time).

Of course, I worry that it is going to be a huge disaster because we have practiced so much. A part of that worry comes from dealing with some Wiccans that can put on a good ritual despite creating it a couple of hours before the performance. Another part of worry comes from the fact that I like to get as close to a deadline as I can before writing anything.

(That last part may just be a bad habit.)

But this ritual really needed to be practiced first. It is not a simple ritual. The very fact that I am mixing Wicca with Golden Dawn material means that I have to rehearse the ritual, and weed out the parts that do not work or are too complicated. Or rather the parts that are not neccessary to the center of the ritual which is the lecture and astrological diagram.

It is the use of the diagram, and lecture to explain it, that makes the practice so neccessary. The ritual script is still in a state of flux as I revise it. The tightrope I am walking is how to present an advanced idea without boring the audience to death.

How advanced an idea? Well, you can put it together from publically available stuff. It is just that your average Wiccan has not looked at the idea because it falls outside of their tradition.

Of course, I can hear the accusation already that I am trying to New Age up Golden Dawn. Or maybe it is Wiccanning Golden Dawn. Either that or I am breaking my secrecy oaths.  Oh whatever the accusation is...I am just going to roll my eyes.

I am a Wiccan who just happens to be a Golden Dawn member. My personal practice has the two traditions living in harmony, and actually benefiting from the co-existence. And that is the whole point of the June OFM, as in the previous years, that a Wiccan can benefit from Golden Dawn training. Or at least, the ones that are serious about working magic as well as worshipping the divine Lord and Lady. The June OFM is more likely to scare off potential members than it is to attract them.

As for my secrecy oaths, unless you were present and actually know what I swore to keep secret, don't assume that you know when I break my secrecy oaths.

And yes, I am tired after the walk-thur...and I really should not read certain writers before doing my own work.

(I will write more about the June Open Full Moon ritual as preparations continue. Just 40 more days to go.)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Testing to see if this link works

This is a test to see if I can get people from this blog post to the Facebook fan page for Bast Temple. Visit the fanpage of Bast Temple, Golden Dawn, Denver Colorado.

Friday, May 14, 2010

When to part the Veil

As I have gotten closer to June, and the Open Full Moon ritual that I am conducting that month, I have once again find myself spending time kicking around the question of when is it ok to reveal information.

If we go back to the 1888 standard, it is never ok to reveal information unless someone is of the proper Grade to reveal it. This includes the very existence of the Order itself. The exception is the three Co-Chiefs, who can do whatever they want to do.

At some point in time, it became ok to admit that you belonged to an esoteric Order if you were talking to someone that you were willing to sponsor. I am not sure when that happened...and it probably was so unofficial.

Information-wise, there seems to been a standard that if the information existed in the public domain, then you could talk about provided that you did not reveal any of the initiated secrets. For an idea of how this worked, look at the little booklet that Mathers did on the Tarot; it is hardly a ringing advertisement for his expertise.

Aliester Crowley is accused of changing the standard, but that accusation is rather unfair. Despite all his faults, the information that he gave out was actually rather limited. There is also the fact that most of it was done in a very limited print run. We forget that the Equinox was a limited print run; and if you had a copy, then you were almost a de facto member of either the AA or the OTO.

Paul Foster Case's BOTA actually had a larger membership than both of Crowley's organizations. Of course with BOTA , you spend years and years in what Golden Dawn/RR et AC classified Outer Order.

Dion Fortune is a good example of someone who hinted at what initiates knew without giving anything away.

It is Regardie that broke open the piggy bank. But quite honestly in my opinion, what he published was just the tip of the iceberg---just enourgh to ensure that the system did not disappear, but not enourgh that a living esoteric Order was made unnecessary.

(Others will so disagree with me on this one. My question to them is: How bad off is your system that Regardie, or any of the others I mention in this blog post, have actually made your Order useless?)

Today, the information leaks are the Chic and Tabitha Cicero, Pat Zalewski, and Nick Farrell; or at least, they are the ones that most people pay attention to. And they pretty much restrict their stuff to NAM (Neophyte Adeptus Minor) and below. (In Pat's case, that is not completely true---he preserving the core bits of a higher Grade system without giving more than one percent of it away.)

There are some others who give hints; but for the most part, either their hints are for those who are already of the proper Grade to know (if you can figure it out from the hint, then you have the right to know it), or are meant to attract new members to their groups (sorry, I spent too much time as a businessman; if it looks like advertising, I presume that it is advertising).

(Of course, I am ignoring the people who just reprint the stuff that others have published, and who claim to understand it better than the rest of us. I think everyone knows my issues with these particular people.)

Now in my particular case, I am kicking around if it is proper to connect the dots between the hints a couple of people have made, plus add a big dollop of research and a dab of personal insight, and actually put it in article form. Outside of the hints, this is my own work; this is not a secret or teaching that was shown to me. But it definitely comes out of the Golden Dawn/RR et AC system.

And for the record, I realize that this question is just a personal issue. No matter what I actually decide, someone will get up on a soapbox and scream that I made the wrong decision. Because of that the only thing that will ultimately matter is making sure that I can live with myself in the morning.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Baking a bigger pie

One of the things that disturbs me is those magicians and witches who tell you it is wrong to do a spell for money because it will rob someone else. Often this attitude refers to abundance magic. Bet these people are horrified that I am going to be doing spell work to increase my income flow in the near future (it has to wait until after this semester finals when I have time to actually do both the magic and actual work to manifest the energies). Problem with this type of thinking is that it presumes that we are trapped in a zero-sum game. There is another way to deal with this: Grow a bigger pie. Don't believe me? Would you believe Donald Michael Kraig if he told you that was the solution to having your cake and letting your neighbor have theirs? We do not have to be poor; we have pie.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bast as a goddess of abundance

A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about Bast while I was walking home from one of my college classes. I used to have a friend that gave me a hard time about picking a goddess that was a "party goddess." And I am so not a party person; I am the person in the corner that has been there for five minutes, and that is about an hour too long as far as I am concerned. I am also not very sexually amorous either which also makes Bast look like a bad choice for me; no, I do not go tom-catting around.

Quite simply, I am a prudish stick-in-the-mud. Therefore is his mind, there is no way that Bast should be connected with me. (Obviously, he has no truck with the theory that you should deal with gods who have a different outlook on life than you do, in order to shore up your weaknesses.)

While this former friend and I have parted paths (long story---basically I had no time to spare), I still can't but help think about his "party goddess" label occasionally when I mediate on Bast. I do understand where he was coming from with the comment, as will all those who have read stories about the ancient Egyptian festival of Bast.

But Bast is so much more. She is the lighter side of her dark sister Sekmet. She is probably connected with the Strength card of the Tarot though some energetic or philosophical manner.

Bast was definitely sacred in ancient Egypt, as were her animal of choice, the cat. Now, these are not are typical housecats; these were cats one step removed from the wild. The reason that cats were protected was the fact that they were a much needed form of pest control. Large grain stores tends to attract mice and rats; you need something to keep the scurrying pests down to an acceptable level where they are not eating you out of hut and silo.

Enter the cat. Today, even as I am writing this, I find that it is hard to believe that a cat can be bothered to get up and hunt down anything. But then again, I have three cats on the sofa with me---and they are slowly taking up every spare inch of room.

Yet I do know that they still hunt. Or at least, some of them do. The other day, I found a half-eaten mouse on the front porch. Probably a gift from one of the feral cats that I fed. I hope that they did not expect me to finish eating it for them. I appreciate the present, but even my eating habits are better than that.

Which brings me to why Bast is a goddess of abundance. We all have a bunch of scurry time and money wasters in our lives that if we could get under control, we could actually make some progress towards putting some money into the bank and keeping it there. Securing and protecting the stockpile of wealth, one's resources, and stemming the tide of being nippled to death has the same effect as creating more wealth. Therefore Bast is a goddess of abundance despite the fact that she probably spends as much time sleeping as her four legged counterparts do.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Thinking about this month's newsletter

I always love it when someone proves that I really need to do something. For several months, I had an idea of what my column for the May's issue of the Hearthstone OFM Newsletter is going to be about. And someone just made such a sweeping generalization on one of the Golden Dawn forums that I definitely have to do it. I thought it was going to be one of the local Wiccans that were going to make me loudly declare, "Don't speak for all of us, and declare your method of doing things the one and only way!"

Rule of thumb: Unless you have talked to everyone of a particular tradition (and their minds are permanently frozen), don't assume you know what all of them do and believe.

Edit: Opps, my bad. They were being sarcastic. Another general rule of thumb, sarcasm does not work on the internet...especially around those who have just spent the last six hours researching a term paper.