Sunday, July 31, 2011

When does humor go too far?

Occasionally, I ponder the question "When does humor go too far?" For me, there are multiple sub-questions to this question.

Is it wrong to make fun of Wiccans and pagans? (I have been told "yes" many times---not that it stops me from doing so.)

Is it wrong to make fun of armchair occultists? (What are they going to do? Read to me? Theorize to me?)

Is it wrong to make jokes about natural disasters? (Only if you recieving big paychecks from sponsors and paying gigs.)

Is it wrong to make fun of politicians and famous people? (Isn't this like making fun of bread and butter?)

Is it wrong to photoshop stuff on the back of milk cartons? (Well, I guess we will find out in a couple of days---it wasn't my joke, but I suspect that we are sure to hear about it. I know that if I had made the joke, I would be roasted slowly over warm coals.)

And does someone control the photoshop monopoly? (C'mon now---haven't you suspected that it is only ok for one group of people to photoshop jokes together, but not the other side? Surely, I am not the only person who came up with the wrong answer here.)

Most importantly, why do I have time to ponder these types of questions? Shouldn't I be out there making bad jokes and getting people upset?

On that note, I probably should wander off and work on drawing the cartoon for tomorrow's Loki's Wisdom post.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery at Handmade Hookup Craftshow this Saturday

Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery at a craftshow.

If you are in Colorado and close to the Stapleton area, come by the Shops at Stapleton Northfield (just north of I-70 east of Quebec) on Saturday July 30th during the hours of noon to 5 pm. Both my wife and I will be there---she will be selling pottery and jewelry, and I will be...well, I will be bored out of my mind...helping her. We (by "we" I mean my wife) are going to be one of the handmade craft vendors at The Handmade Hookup Craft Show.

We (I mean Toni) will have both clay jewelry items as well as wheel thrown items (mortar and pestles, jars, kitty bowls, candle holders). And this year, for the first time, we will be able to take VISA and Mastercard as a payment method. Of course, it involves a knuckle-buster (the really old manual credit card imprint machines), so we (I mean me) might end up with bruised knuckles by the end of the day.

Come by and buy some of her beautiful jewelry and pottery. Tell her that you heard of the craftshow though this blog (because she thinks that I just goof around on the internet). Have a conversation with me because I will be so bored I am a really nice person.

See you all on Saturday---unless you are one of my non-Denver Colorado readers, then you really should check out her jewelry at Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery on Etsy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Writing a New Invocation to Bast

Greetings to the readers of The Pagan Mom Blog and to my regular readers. Today, I would like to share a few thoughts I had while writing the invocation to Bast that was used for the 31 Days of Deity.

(The guest post I did, an invocation to Bast, should be live now---but considering that I am pre-scheduling this post to go live while I am still sleeping, I could be wrong.)

I chose to write about Bast for two reasons. One, she is the patron deity of the local Golden Dawn lodge I belong to. Two, she keeps bringing me cats. (Ok, maybe she is not bringing me cats, but you must admit that I have quite a few of them.)

The reason I chose to do an invocation is simple: I rather enjoy performing them.

It is not the first time that I have written ritual scripts to use with Bast. One of my pride and joys is the "Wiccan" quarter calls I wrote a couple of years ago. It probably won't be the last time either.

Now in case you are a newbie to the term, an invocation manifests the spiritual and magical energies invoked inside one's own consciousness; its counterpart, an evocation manifests the energies outside oneself. (Ok, that is not completely true; but I am trying to keep this simple.) In Wiccan terms, an invocation is like a "drawing down," and an evocation is like "calling the quarters."

During the course of doing research for creating this invocation, I must admit that I was rather appalled by the general lack of information. While I consulted many different sources, often the result was the same information (a paragraph or two) that I had seen in all the rest of the sources. At a certain point, I discovered myself shaking my head over the fact that Herodotus is still a major source.

This lack of information is not especially surprising. After all, Bast (or Bastet) was a goddess that was worshipped more by the common people of Ancient Egypt than she was by the ruling class. Because of that, Bast was not mentioned often in the literature that forms the core of our knowledge about Ancient Egyptian mythology.

Even less information was attained when consulting the published documents of Golden Dawn and Egyptian Wicca (the first is not surprising, the second more so). There was some unpublished stuff that influenced what I created. If you can see where the unpublished stuff lays, then you have been taught it (or figured it out on your own). I will openly admit that the IHVH formula for invocations, and the seven layers of godforms played a part in what I created.

While Angela wanted us to provide a list of resources for further research, honestly in this case, I feel it would have been useless list. After all, it was a paragraph here, a line there, and information generally being repeated.

No, the resource for further research and work has already been provided: It is the ritual of invocation itself. Think of it as an instructual tool. The various myths, names and titles of Bast have been condensed into the invocation. Even if one does not want to perform the invocation, one can take it apart line by line to get an idea of how complicated the mythology surrounding Bast was.

And on that note, I must issue an apology. You see, I learn a lot from doing invocations and experiencing various magical forces firsthand. It is how I learn. I realize that it is not everyone's cup of tea; but let's be honest, I was writing the invocation for people like myself.

[As always all complaints about my insensitivity will be read, but not necessarily approved.]

Egyptian Gods and the Golden Dawn

The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt have a special place in Golden Dawn. And in return, Golden Dawn has a special place in modern paganism revival, especially when it comes to those of us who have embraced the Egyptian deities.

To understand why, one must remember that the world lost all direct knowledge of the mythology and religion of Ancient Egypt around 450 CE (or 450 AD if you prefer that notation style). With the closing of the last Temple of Isis, and the loss of the ability to read the hieroglyphs (and other Ancient Egyptian scripts), all that remained of the ancient beliefs of the Egyptians were those parts that had already made their way into Greek and Roman systems.

These bits of myth and lore filtered down though the ages. Golden Dawn inherited part of their Egyptian lore from this stream, call it the "Greek---Roman---Hermetic---Alchemical---Rosicrucian---Freemasonry---Theosophical" stream if you feel like it. This stream was definitely not pure. For instance, attempts to decipher the hieroglyphs were based on the idea that each symbol was a whole idea upon itself. A simple name could become an entire paragraph. The stream also ignored the fact that the Ancients were as interested in counting the number of oxen as modern man is interested in counting small bits of green paper (or red or blue or whatever color your country has developed a fetish for).

It is the other half of the Egyptian stream that is given more value by many. While certain ideas were lifted whole from the GRHARFT stream (I am so not writing that out again), Golden Dawn was in an unique position. In 1799, the key to deciphering the hieroglyphs, the Rosetta Stone was discovered. While it took fifty years to bring the first translations to fruitation, by the time Golden Dawn was formed in 1888, the newly created Order was able to use actual quotes from the mythology of the Ancient Egyptians.

In fact, Isis-Urania, the first Temple (lodge) of the newly formed Hermetic Society of the Golden Dawn, was the first group to use actual ideas, sayings and words from the Ancient Egyptians since the closure of the last Isisian Temple.

(Now, there are some who will feel the urge to correct me at this point, claiming that the Order is much older, and is the child of a tradition from the GRHARFT stream that managed to preserve actual ideas and rituals from Ancient Egypt them, I say, "I am telling this story, not you." We will talk about my astonishing lack of respect for the official history of the Order another day.)

Being first to revive the actual Egyptian religion does have its costs. Much of the Egyptian lore of the Golden Dawn is firmly stuck in the era of E. A. Wallis Budge. This annoys many people. And personally, I will admit that I wonder how the founding members of the Hermetic Golden Dawn and RR et AC would have dealt with some of the more interesting modern findings.

But despite the base lore being outdated today, what Golden Dawn developed is still state of the art today.

(By state of the art, I mean how the modern Adepts use the system, not the original membership. In many ways, the way that the techniques were originally used were the equivalent of using a refrigerator to store sand.)

The most famous use of the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses by the Golden Dawn was though the use of "godforms." The idea behind godforms is simple; godforms are a container built up though Willed Imagination to serve as a conduit for magical forces (or energies if you prefer).

Now, not everyone likes the idea of the Egyptian godforms. One of the most vocal Golden Dawn critics believes that it is an attempt to enslave the Egyptian deities under the power of IHVH. Given the fact that this critic seems to belong to the religion of the month club, I feel safe in ignoring their opinion. Especially given the fact that my own personal experiences indicate that the Egyptian deities are a force onto themselves, a force that seems not to be impeded by the use or lack of the Hebrew names of power in ritual.

Think of the godforms as a shell/program used to access magical energies, as well as a circuit breaker (fuse) and means to prevent possession by the magical energies.

Now the majority of information about the use of godforms from the original Order is contained in the Z documents. The godforms are used to empower the Neophyte initiation ritual (the entry Grade of the Golden Dawn system), as well as aspects of an Adept's private work. By logical extension, all the initiation rituals and work of the working magician should be done with the help of godforms.

(Not everyone agrees with the logical extension. Each to their own---I know my own personal preference for magical work.)

There are some problems with the use of godforms to empower rituals in the Golden Dawn system. If one goes purely by the Z documents, only Adepts are allowed to know about the godforms, therefore all officers of the system should be Adepts. This idea if it was completely true would have prevented the revival of the Golden Dawn system. Based on personal experience, the godforms are a lot easier to build than the Z documents state---in fact, the Egyptian deities seem to be attracted to Golden Dawn ritual, no matter what the Grade level of the people doing the rituals.

Furthermore (again personal experience), talented members below the Grade of Adept can often sense the godforms, therefore occasionally someone below the level of Adept must learn enourgh about the godforms and Egyptian deities to avoid thinking that they have gone utterly insane. In fact, I suspect (but cannot prove) that the Z document placement of the godforms, and well as their use, came about though the perceptions of talented members from the original Order. I do not believe that the use of godforms was a secret handed down from the GRHARFT stream, but a breakthough in magical technology discovered by the first initiates of the Golden Dawn.

(Pagans and Wiccans reading this will understand this thought if they have ever been surprised by the arrival of deities called in ritual by non-initiates. The old gods were merely sleeping, awaiting a new generation to remember them.)

Those who feel like arguing with my personal experiences should keep in mind that I have worked in less-than-ideal conditions, much like the conditions that the first initiates of Isis-Urania would have experienced. Either I am super-talented or the Z documents are slightly misleading (take your pick).

One final thought about the godforms, the Z documents and related Order papers are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the godforms. Each godform has seven layers which are merely the building plans. Each Adept will develop their knowledge of the godforms in their own unique manner.

The end result of Golden Dawn bringing in Egyptian mythology into the system, besides some of us hearing the deities speak with a slight English accent, is that when the Wiccan and paganism movement started to develop, Wiccans and pagans were able to borrow some of their initial magical and spiritual working techniques from a system that had sixty years of experience working with the Egyptian deities already.

[The views and opinions presented in this blog post are merely those of Morgan Drake Eckstein. They do not represent the official opinions of any major Golden Dawn Order. All protests about MDE's disregard for secrecy will be read, but might not be approved for publication.]

Monday, July 25, 2011

Who is Morgan Drake Eckstein?

Who is Morgan Drake Eckstein?
Given the fact that I might be recieving some readers from The Pagan Mom Blog (where I am doing a guest post tomorrow---July 26th 2011), I thought it would be a good time to ponder that age-old question: Who is Morgan Drake Eckstein?

Ok, maybe it is just an age-old question from my viewpoint.

One, I am a rabble rouser. Or at least, I try to be. Or maybe it is just being a frustrated comedian.

Definitely, the last one.

Two, I am a pagan and a Wiccan. I have also been a member of Golden Dawn since March 1992. Not a member of the "true" Wicca or Golden Dawn---it is more along the lines of those branches of the traditions that you find trying to lure people into dark alleys---you know those Adepts and Witches that your parents and gurus warned you about.

Some people think that I am leader in one or both traditions. I am not. I am just someone that writes a few columns focusing on Golden Dawn, Wicca, and astrology. Think of me more as an entertainer (frustrated comedian) than a leader.

Some people would point out that I am an elected officer in a Golden Dawn lodge. My job? To scare off people. *Gets handed a piece of paper* Oh. Yeah. I guess. I have just been informed that I am wrong. My job is to lure you into a dark alley and convince you to be a member of both Wicca and Golden Dawn.

I occasionally cover news stories that concern Wicca and Golden Dawn. I tend to focus on those stories that make me spitting mad or that I can make a good joke about. My formal journalist training is that I have talked to a professor of journalism on a couple of occasions. My on-the-resume journalist experience is that I have worked for a college newspaper. I would rather put the articles I have written for occult magazines (all local and small) on my resume instead, but you are not supposed to do that if one is seriously trying to get hired.

I fancy myself a writer. And an artist. And a photographer. And a comedian. Obviously, I am delusional. All four delusions show up regularly on this blog.

And I think that is about it.

So the answer to the question of "Who is Morgan Drake Eckstein?" is that MDE is a frustrated comedian, who has delusions of creative greatness and just happens to be a Wiccan and a member of some evil branch of the Golden Dawn.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Required Hebrew to advance to Zelator

The latest blog meme (those ideas and discussions that truly create a wildfire on the blogosphere as they hop from one blog to another) is Hebrew in the Golden Dawn. So far I have seen this meme on Dean Wilson's GD blog and on Tabitha Cicero's HOGD blog---both of them are taking about errors that crept into the system. And yes, I am jumping onto the band wagon; we are going to talk about Golden Dawn and Hebrew today. Before next week, I think we will see the topic crop up on at least two other blogs.

(Why? Because I rather talk about the Hebrew in Golden Dawn than try to explain how I can work with myths I do not believe in and end up insulting the weather gods in the process---some things you can see are going to end badly, even without looking into a cracked crystal ball. And I imagine other people will also jump on the bandwagon because it will be better than whatever topic that they were going to talk about instead; I have discovered that bad blog ideas can always wait until next week.)

Several years ago (2004), I cobbled together a list of the Hebrew words that one would need to recognize in order to pass the strictest test for advancement into Zelator. Or at least, the strictest test that the branch of the tradition I belong to would issue. I can't speak for the branches of the tradition that I have never been a part of.

When you join the Order (any Golden Dawn based Order to the best of my knowledge), you are not required to know any Hebrew. Can you read and write your local language? Yes? Ok.

(Occasionally, one does hear the rumor about the mythical GD/Freemasonic lodge that predated Isis-Urania #3---I have never seen enough evidence to confirm its existence from a historian's viewpoint. If that lodge existed, Hebrew might have been an entry requirement. A Golden Dawn lodge located in the Middle East today might also have Hebrew as the local language. But those two are only two examples I can think of where Hebrew would be an entry requirement.)

So Neophytes are not required to know Hebrew. From an officer's viewpoint, all Hebrew mentioned in lectures and documents must be explained and translated on the Neophyte level. Example: "The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Aleph, ALPh, which mean 'ox.'"

It is on the Zelator Grade level, that a certain amount of the Hebrew ceases to be explained. Why? Because you were tested on it. If you have been tested on it, the officers of the system are no longer required to give the translation. Example: "One of the symbols of the 32nd path, the path between the sephiroth Malkuth and Yesod, is the letter Tav." At the level of this lecture, one should know what Tav means, and where it is located in the Hebrew alphabet; furthermore, they should know the location of Malkuth and Yesod on the Tree of Life as well as the meaning of the sephiroth names.

Now, I will admit that I am a cruel Praemonstrator (that is when I am in that office): I think that by the time a person reaches the Very Honored Grade of Adept Minor that one should have taken a semester of college level Hebrew. By the way, a single semester of college level Hebrew is not that much---it is about the same as taking a semester of French, Spanish, Latin, or whatever your poison of choice is. It is just enourgh to roll your eyes at some of the mistakes that have crept into the system, to be able to struggle with isolated sentences in the Old Testament, and to annoy your fellow lodge members.

Towards that end, I have occasionally threaten to write "Easy Hebrew for Adepts." But I would rather have someone else do the work---if you write it, I will buy a copy. I don't trust my own limited knowledge of Hebrew enourgh to attempt writing it myself.

The closest I have came to writing "Easy Hebrew for Adepts" is to write a few lists of words about the Hebrew one needs to recognize at the various Grade levels of Golden Dawn. The following list is the Hebrew I do not believe that I have to translate for you if you are a Zelator; it is the Hebrew that you should have learned in Neophyte and could translate if the words showed up on your advancement test. There are a few words in parenthesises (curved brackets for the non-English majors) that are optional---they are words or terms that I would prefer you to know because they would be really useful to know. Towards the end of the list are a few terms that I would suggest that the Zelator should also know. Furthermore, the list is divided into "logical" sections---one can see how I thought the words were grouped when I wrote out the original list.

So can you pass this section of the Neophyte test?


Final forms---which five letters

(Etz ha-Chayim)
(Ain Soph Aur)











Concept of the Three Pillars

Four Divisions of Kabbalah


(Lightning Flash)

(4/40/400 World Theory and its' Relationship to the Grades)

(Neophyte Temple floor diagram)

(The Tree of Life mapped on the human body)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fair warning about July 26th.

Just a heads-up to my regular readers: On July 26th, I am going to be doing a guest blog post for The Pagan Mom Blog as part of the 31 Days of Deities blog arc. So that means that a couple of my posts between now and then are not going to be immediately clear...which means that everything will be the same as normal around here.

It is going to be my first ever time doing a guest blog. Yay Me!

For those of you who are curious, what I have written is an invocation to Bast (of course). And I am going to make you go there and read it because I happen to like The Pagan Mom Blog. Ok, I can't make you go there and read it. But if you don't, then the post I do here on the 26th is not going to make much sense at all...not that any of my posts make much sense even when the action is just happening here.

Anyway, this has been your fair warning post. We will now return you to your favorite frustrated comedian up, Morgan angers lightning and thunder gods everywhere.

Mathers made a mess of things

The Secret Chiefs are not amused
There are some things that one does not do on the blogosphere and the forums if one does not want to be accused of being a flaming troll. One of which is to point out that certain people made a royal mess of the system. This list includes MacGregor Mathers, Moina Mathers, Aleister Crowley, Wynn Westcott, and Paul Foster Case.

Call any of these people less than perfect, and you find yourself met with a mob armed with pitchforks and flaming torches. Each one of these people have been enshrined in the Hall of Perfect Adepts, and no lesser mortal is allowed to point out that their product could be improved upon.

Given that fact, the most that you can do is edge up and hint at the fact that product improvement could happen. And even that will get you a "Shut up! You are just trying to destory the Orders built upon their work."

So I felt a certain amount of amusement...and a certain amount of anger...when I saw today who admitted that Mathers screwed some things up. Yes, they have been part of the mob of angry villagers. I guess it is ok for them to say it, but not the rest of us.

They are not revealing anything by stating this fact. They are not the first to say this. They have merely trained the rest of us to avoid the subject like the plague when it comes up in the public sphere.

The rest of us only talk about this fact in private. One of my instructors has several lessons that are designed to help the Adept Minor realize that perhaps Mathers' work is not up to par. And the members of my own lodge have heard me state several times that there are problems with the Mathers' material.

Of course, my opinion cannot be stated out loud in public because I do not have the sanction of the Third Order. If I would have said this, I would have sensative body parts nailed to the wall.

I am annoyed; I am pissed; and I wonder how one gets the right to blackmail the rest of the community to shut up, so that one can be the first to say something publically that the rest of us have been saying in private for a long time.

(Oh, I am not being completely truthful here. An unholy trio have been calling Mathers "a masonic loon" publically for some time because of the mess he made of the system. I guess not everyone cares if they are set on fire by an angry mob.)

Exactly when did I become a GD leader?

I have a confession to make---every time someone refers to me as a Golden Dawn leader, I want to slap some sense into them. Thinking that I am some form of Golden Dawn leader is like mistaking my little blog here as a significant portion of the blogosphere. I have seen my numbers; I am under no delusions that I have anything beyond a token readership.

And I have more readers than followers. In fact, I am not even sure that I have any followers. Perhaps the cat who must be in the same room as I am counts as a follower; I am fairly sure that he does not count, but maybe someone is counting him as a follower.

What I do have are people who heckle me---"What symbol is that? Really?! Are you sure? Is it supposed to be said like that? Really?! Are you sure? What is it used for? Really?! Are you sure?"

Yet, periodically people mistake me for a leader or someone who is reaching a significant percentage of the Golden Dawn interest group.

It puzzles me.

Another thing that puzzles me is the fact that they often believe that I should act in certain ways, and believe in certain things, just because I am a Golden Dawn leader. (Today, it is David Griffin---but he is hardly the first or last to feel this way.) First---as I said, I am not a Golden Dawn leader---just because other people call me one does not make me one. Second---I have never encountered a rulebook saying how Golden Dawn leaders are supposed to act, outside of preserving the system and rituals, that is.

Ok, that is not completely true. There was the one HOMSI manual that passed though my hands that gave instructions on such matters---it boils down to perfect obedience to the supreme leader and not fermenting schisms. I am guessing that the manual produced by the Third Order includes a section that says that absolute belief in the official history of the Order is required.

Good thing, I have no desire to be a Golden Dawn leader, isn't it?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Did Mathers have contact with the Third Order?

I will admit that I am a happy little cynic, with a touch of skepticism tossed in on the side. I realized this today (yet again) when I was reading someone's blog post about Mathers and his contact with the Third Order.

And I found myself talking back to the computer, saying "I don't believe that Mathers ever had contact with the Third Order."

Cue the boos. I know. It is not something that one should actually admit out loud.

Because of the secret nature of the system, this is one of those things that you tend to have to take on faith. Or not. This is assuming that you don't have access to the stuff that the ultra-secret-minded groups have access to.

Then again, you could have access to non-published stuff and still have this opinion. Nothing that I have been given access to indicates that Mathers or Westcott had access to anything beyond the stuff that could be found in any large research library of their day and age.

Of course, I know that I am not a properly trained scholar (whatever that is in this particular case), and not a properly-vetted Magus, and all that jazz. Therefore, my belief and opinion should be ignored.

Nevertheless, I wonder how many other people in the Golden Dawn tradition feel the same way as I do.

Part of the reason for kicking this skepticism around is that I feel that a large part of a current claim is being laid upon this fact (or myth if you are a skeptic like me). And I wonder how much this disbelief affects my feelings about the revolutionary claims being made currently.

This is one of those times, you can tell that I have spent too much time in management and freelance wirting. It is also one of those times, one can tell that I have dealt with more than my fair share of liars and frauds who just happened to head up their own occult groups, complete with false lineages.

For all I know, the current claims being made could be real. But honestly, I personally have been burned too many times to trust anyone's word that the reason for secrecy is not just for their own personal gain. Yes, it is a sad world that I live in.

Feel free to call me an idiot in the comment section. Everyone else is going to.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A set of short rants

It is now time for a series of short rants---otherwise known as "Morgan's lazy way of offending everyone." Yes, it is that time again when several things I have read or heard have annoyed me, but I do not feel like writing whole posts to address the topics individually.

Are you buckled in? Tray in the upright position? Monkey launcher loaded?

Let's us begin.

"I was shocked to learn that the self-help group was merely created to stroke the leader's ego."

Really? I am under the impression that most groups are created to stroke their creator's ego. There are exceptions---most of them involve duct tape and really smart lazy people who decide that person XYZ is the obviously candidate to be the "leader" because they just happened to go to the bathroon before figuring out how to sucker someone else into doing the job instead. But outside of those groups led by people who have been duct-taped into their office by the membership (a good reason not to give members voting rights), most groups only exist to serve their leadership's needs and desires.

Ego, money, and power---the unholy triad of needs that groups fulfil for their leaders. You can slap any purpose you want on a group for the membership, and you will discover that the group also will automatically serve one of these purposes for the leadership...if you are lucky.

If you are unlucky, you will find out that there is something worse than fulfilling the unholy triad. Don't believe me? Oh, fine---here take this grimoire and start reading while I step behind this protective shield. Opps, we need another Neophyte.

"Some people are advising other people not to work with me. Obviously, they are not embracing the light and just want to keep people in the darkness."

Yes, Dalai Lama, it is true---China does not like you.

The sad part is that one of the first signs that some guru is using the group's membership for the unholy triad of needs is the statement that those issuing the warnings about them are themselves evil.

There are two ways to deal with this advice when you recieve it about someone. Refuse to work with anyone you are being warned about. Or attempt to get your some of your own needs fulfilled while working with some low-life crossroad demon. Your choice.

"I have heard that you are some low-life crossroad demon."

What?! No. You shouldn't listen to such things.

"I own the [fill-in-the-blank] tradition."

I am quite sure that you believe that you do. I am also sure that the seventy-two dozen other people who say this statement also believe that they are the sole owners of their tradition. But does the law believe this? And does the spiritual hierarchy believe your claim?

In the case of the exoteric law, you may own the name of a group that is part of the tradition (or claims to be part of the tradition)---but it is unlikely that the law believes that you own the tradition. Why, because a tradition is a set of ideas and procedures. And ideas and procedures are some of the "orphans of intellectual property law." For instance, "copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed [US Copyright Office]" Why is this? Because it is impossible to have monopoly on an idea. Think about it. The inventor of fire thought he should be paid for life, along with his entire family tree, for creation of such a marvelous invention. The gods, witches and warlords disagreed. You cannot prevent people from learning how to make fire. The only way to protect "ideas and procedures" is to make them trade-secrets, and get people to sign non-disclosure and non-compete agreements. Good luck with that---most intelligent members will run the other way upon hearing this request.

On the esoteric front, do the rituals and procedures of your system produce no results when they are done without your approval? Do the archangels and the guardian of the esoteric traditions, Bilifo, prevent your secret methods working in the hands of others? Again, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements are your only option. And that might not work if Bilifo and the spirits of the tradition decide that it is time for someone else to develop your system further. After all, they do answer to a higher power than you.

"Properly educated and trained scholars have never properly studied my tradition."

Quick question---would you actually allow a properly educated and trained scholar to see the inside of your tradition without signing a non-disclosure agreement?

If the answer is no, then shut up. Scholars can only build their studies from information that they have access to. When no access to the secret knowledge, information, and knowledge is provided, then they must make do with less-than-satisfactory published sources. Of course, their work is going to be wrong, but you are the one that keeping them from accessing the really important information.

And if the answer is yes, then shut up. If your tradition is worthy of study and scholars actually do have access to good information, it is only a matter of time before some scholar does a proper study of your tradition. Of course, it might take a hundred years before the academic community sees the light, but that is only because scholars fight as much among themselves as occultists do.

"My tradition should have never became the subject of academic study."

Then your tradition needs to build a time machine, and go kill all your past members who made the mistake of becoming famous. And in the future, never allow anyone in who might get up off the sofa and actually make something of themselves. Sure, your tradition will be lame, but at least you won't be bugged by those insufferable scholars. Of course, it might be hard to actually build a time machine while sitting on the sofa, eating bon-bons and watching cable television.

"The politicans never are concerned about the needs and desires of my tradition. And for some reason, none of the members of my tradition have two dimes to rub together."

Obviously, yours is a tradition that does not want to be the subject of future academic study.

"People have published secret docments that should have remained secret."

You dislike scholars and the leaders of occult sheep, right? Again, time machine.

"You seem to think that a lot of problems could be solved with a time machine. Are you merely trying to get someone to build a time machine, so that you can steal it?"

Next question.

"What would you do with a time machine?"

Me? Sweet innocent me? I would use a time machine wisely, unlike some of the politicans and other occult leaders I could name. I would use only for the greater good, to further the greater good of humanity, and never for the purposes of gaining fame, money and power. I would be a responsible scholar of the universe, exploring time and space for the pleasure of increasing human knowledge. For instance, I would go back in time, kill Crowley and Yeats, borrow documents from the original Rosicrucians, making sure to kill everyone's grandfather that thought about publishing any RC and Golden Dawn secrets.

"How about Regardie? Would you kill him?"

No need to kill him. Without Crowley, Regardie would have never heard of Golden Dawn.

"You are aware that no one would have ever heard of the Rosicrucian and Golden Dawn traditions if you did that?"

Yeah, I will admit that it would be a pretty lame recruitment plan. But it would be truly a secret tradition, wouldn't it? And it would so prevent people from creating groups using the tradition to fulfill their unholy triad of needs.

"Do you think that there is anyone you have not upset yet?"


Launch monkeys!


"You are some low-life crossroad demon, ain't you?"

Who is your grandfather?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Are posts about the Freemasons coming?

Freemasonry meets the RC Society
Tonight, I was posting back and forth with someone on Facebook. They are doing a bit of research on Freemasonry and world history. I wish them luck on that topic---it is far outside of my expertise. Nevertheless, I find myself with the urge to write something about the Freemasons.

Now, my opinion about the Freemasons is based not on rumor; it is based on first hand experience of knowing Freemasons. I think everyone inside of the esoteric lodge system knows at least one Freemason---it is an occuptional hazard if you are a member of a group that has lodge meetings.

Before anyone asks---no, I am not a Freemason.

I have mixed feelingss about the Freemasons, especially when it comes to the esoteric Orders. Which is probably better than the opinions they have of me---I tend exhibit signs of adult ADHD, and I have no truck with people who are merely interested in collecting more Degrees and Grades. I also have an opinion about how much the Freemasons have to say about what goes on in the esoteric Orders, and I tend to be loud about that opinion. There is also my wicked witch ethics and beliefs.

These opinions and character flaws do not prevent me from having friends who are Freemasons; they merely prevent me from being a Freemason.

Nevertheless, I have done some study of their Order. Partially, because it is the proto-type for all lodge based systems including Golden Dawn and British Wicca (though some will argue that they are not); and partially because if you are a history student, they are really the only lodge system that you are allowed to study (if you are allowed to study them at all---the couple of papers I have done on them in college, I had to fight to do). Freemasonry to the history student is like Golden Dawn is to the literature student (the only reason you can study Golden Dawn as a literature student is that Yeats was a member).

I also collect the occasional odd bit of literature and gear that comes my way. For instance, the photo for this blog is from my collection---there is a history behind this piece of artwork; some of it personal.

Anyways, I am happening this post worked the bug out of my system because otherwise I will be boring you with other posts about the Freemasons. And no one wants that, including me.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I am back!!!

I am back!!! And I bet you didn't even know I was gone.

As those people who read my last couple of posts know, Denver was experiencing the joys of the annual monsoon season last week. (Yes, I know that "monsoon" is not the correctt word for it---but hey, the weather people use it on TV, so who am I to be better than they?) What you might not know is that my internet went out shortly after the last post I did about Thursday's storm.

Sometime, late Thursday night, early Friday morning, the internet went bye-bye. Along with the landline on our phone service. Fortunately, my wife has a cell phone, so we could call to ask for someone to fix it.

And we were told that we were on the list, and Sunday was the earliest that it might get fixed.

You see---a lot of people were without phone service thanks to the torrential downpours. On the bright note, we still had power. For awhile there both on Wednesday and Thursday, I was worried about getting stuck by lightning. There was no time between flash and sound. Needless to say that the cats did not like the weather gods those nights.

So there were a lot of power outages and phone lines down.

I handed it better than my wife did. During the semester...and writing season...I tend to take whole days and nights off from the internet. (Hence, the reason I always warn people that it may take up to 48 hours to have their comments approved---I may not actually be around on the internet to approve such things---after all, I have to work for a living and it is easier to do occasionally by ignoring the internet.)

On the other hand, my wife might be an internet addict. Or it might simply be that she is trying to do work for her online jewelry shop on Etsy (Celtic Jewelry and Pottery). I am betting addict. It drive her nuts not to have the internet. And I don't think she could understand how I could be so calm about it.

I was working---that is how I could be calm about it. Oh, I did miss a deadline for a newsletter article because the internet was down. But for the most part, I worked on things that I needed to do offline. (It is one of the reasons that I am not heavily into the whole "cloud" system---how are you supposed to work if you can't get to the internet. Remember my tactic for dealing with Y2K---pen and paper---same goes for internet downage.)

But it did remind of the fact that the internet is actually changing our brains. And part of the change is that we become addicted to the internet. (I am researching "brain changes" for a future set of lessons for the lodge.) I wonder how many people are internet addicts---I am guessing most of my readers.

Anyways, the service person showed up yesterday afternoon. And the problem spot was the same bloody spot as all the rest of my annual internet/phone outages (yes, once a year, Qwest/Century Link is at my house fixing the phone line and DSL)---the place they keep putting back together with gobs of black tape. It does not help that there are demonic squirrels in the neighborhood who chew everything.

There is a bright note here---this service person actually fixed the problem with something other than black tape and a prayer---he actually installed a new junction box and a new section of line (it will be easier for it to be fixed the next time it goes out).

So final score---fifty hours plus without internet. And I survived.

As for my newsletter article---I sent it to the editor with a short explanation. The service man was still loading his truck back up as I hit "send." It took me maybe two minutes to do. Then I wandered for for a couple more hours before going back online. One can see my priorities, can't they?

And the moral of this story is "It is possible to treat the internet like a tool, instead of a slave master and drug dealer."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Monsoon Aftermath 7 July 2011

Well, the backroom ended up with some flooding (we have some foundation damage back there that is letting the water in), the porch is trashed, the basement (ritual room) has some water in it, the alley is a mess, and Mortimer (the outdoor kitty) is very upset. And the rain continues. 

Monsoon Denver 7 July 2011

Any second now, I could wash out to sea.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Witchy and crafty

Sabbat Wallhangings Set
One of the interesting things that I have discovered (by sitting on the sofa when my wife looks around at the pages of other Etsy artists) is that there are pagans, Wiccans and witches selling handmade craft items on Etsy. Like this set of wall hangings for the Sabbats by Every Witch Way. Makes me wonder if I could sell my hexsigns on Etsy (as if I actually have time with all the other projects on my desk, right?).

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dear Lover of the First Amendment

Dear Lover of the First Amendment,

Thank you for your recent comments to my blog. They will not be approved and published by me. And screaming that I am violating your First Amendment rights is not going to change my mind.

It is obvious that either you have not studied what the First Amendment and related court rulings say, or you are hoping that I am ignorant of my rights as a member of the media, or possibly both.

Arguing that I am curtailing your freedom of speech by not publishing your comments is rather pointless. The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of the press---it does not impose any responsibility on me to approve (and publish) any opinions that I disagree with.

Yes, as a journalist, I do have some responsibility under the law. For instance, there is some information and opinions that I am not allowed to print---most of them would be labeled under the terms "treason" or "harmfully to others." But the government cannot force me to publish information and opinions I disagree with. That includes your comments.

The First Amendment extends the freedom to the press, which one judge defined as "every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion." The quickest way to get such freedom is to own such an outlet. May I suggest that you start a blog of your own---there you will be allowed to print all of your opinions---at least until you are taken to court for libel.

Moderating comments on my blog is not a violation of your free speech. I am not the government. I am a member of the New Media---there is a difference.

May you have a nice day,

Morgan Drake Eckstein