Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pentagram pottery is special order only

Pentagram Corked Jars.

Closeup of green pentagram.

Closeup of reddish pentagram.
One of the things that regular readers of this blog might be interested in knowing is the fact that my wife will not be putting up any pentagram decorated pottery and jewelry on her Etsy site. Pentagram decorated pieces are special order only. In order to buy a pentagram decorated piece of jewelry or pottery, one needs to contact my wife through her Etsy store. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Casualty of flamewar fears

Last night, I was cruising the internet while trying not to cough up a lung (I have been sick all week), and I ran across a great blog idea. I started to write it, and then I stopped.


Simply, because I could see how it was going to be taken out of context and used as evidence that I was flaming an aspect of Golden Dawn mythology. Which was not my purpose---I was merely using my Golden Dawn background (which I presume my readers share) to explain something else.

So I deleted a perfectly good post because it was likely to get someone's knickers in a tangle.

One of my long-standing fears about the "we can't afford another flame war" school of policing is that it is going to shut good people up completely. That we are going to end up with just one party talking about Golden Dawn, and the rest of us becoming New Agers simply because we can't talk about anything interesting in Golden Dawn.

It is something that I noticed that happened in the Wiccan community. Ironically, the only people who actually shut up are the people who should not have been censored in the first place---the trolls and the flamers are still as loud as ever.

You can't do book reviews because it shows that you have a bias, therefore you are flaming someone. You can't write about your opinions about Golden Dawn techniques because you are wrong and flaming everyone who has a different understanding of how the system works. You can't advertise your own work because only flamers are interested in making money.

The only option you have if you do not want to be accused of being a flamer and a troll is to simply shut up. Completely shut up. And give up the field to those who have appointed themselves as the internet police.

Yet despite the claims of the internet police, I am not sure that it is helping the community at all.

And heavens knows that it annoys the hell out of me. I should be focused on writing the very best blog posts that I can. Not deleting good posts because they are going to upset someone. More of my mental energy is spent trying to figure out how to not upset people than it is to advance interest in the system I am working. I am getting sick and tired of having to be politically correct.

And I may not be paying much attention to the internet police much longer. Of course, that statement will be read as a declaration of flame war---the question is what side is going to yell at me first.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

No matter how hard you try, you'll never top this.
This Thanksgiving, let's us bow our heads in thanks for the greatest invention by the druids of old: the bacon wrapped twinkle stonehedge.

And if you are serious about trying something like this, check out the video I posted over on Loki's Wisdom on how to actually make bacon-stuffed deep fried twinkles. Your heart will not thank you.

And if you haven't already, check out the Thanksgiving themed article I did for the November 2011 Hearthstone Community Church's newsletter, included in Four Cornerstones (available for free on Smashwords).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

FBI arrests 7 in Amish Mullet Conspiracy

Earlier today, the FBI has arrested 7 people including the group's leader, Sam Mullet, for attacking and cutting the hair and beards of Amish believers. For the Amish, women do not cut their hair, and men do not trim their beards after marriage. Hair and beards are simply part of the Amish identity.

And it makes some of the silliness I have seen in the occult community look sane---well, sanier. Well, ok, there are loonies everywhere.

Does the following sound familar?

"Mullet told The Associated Press in October that he didn’t order the hair-cutting, but didn’t stop his sons and others from carrying it out. He said the goal was to send a message to other Amish that they should be ashamed of themselves for the way they were treating Mullet and his community."

There are some conflicting accounts that idicate otherwise.

Besides, the hair cutting, there was beatings, isolating of members who had fallen astray, and sexual relations with married women in order to cleanse them.

And at this point, I have to ask, given the stories I have heard about various groups, are we not better than the Amish radicals? Or could we at least not try to be better?

Yeah, yeah, I know. No occult group has ever done anything wrong ever. And this includes bad experiences and cult-like behavior I have seen first-hand---it was all in my imagination. Let the accusations of flaming begin.

Remember, my friends, if you are in an occult group and do not like the way that the leaders treat people---get the hell out of there; for if you do not, you will become just like them.

You can read more about the Amish Mullet Haircut experience at the website of the Chicago Sun Times.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jewelry inspected and blessed by the Secret Chiefs

This dragonfly necklace has been inspected by Secret Chief Mortimor.
Over this past weekend, I was taking photos some of my wife's jewelry, including several new pieces. One of the new pieces was this dragonfly necklace which Mortimor personally inspected. I presume that he approved of it. He might have even blessed it---I am not completely sure. Either it was a blessing, or he wanted me to play more attention to him.

Lucky kitty foot not included.

Step one in the secret blessing ritual.

Step two in the secret blessing ritual.
Ok, looking at the photos, it is probably not a Secret Chief blessing of the jewelry; it seems to be merely that the Secret Chief in question wanted more petting and less photography. And he is such a cute kitty, who am I to refuse?
(All implications that the Secret Chiefs approve of my wife's jewelry are meant to be taken seriously. Some Secret Chiefs promote esoteric Orders; mine promote my wife's jewelry business, so that she will buy them freeze dried salmon kitty treats. Obey the Secret Chiefs---go buy some of my wife's jewelry right now. And remember that the piece he blessed is available for sale right now.)

If you want the esoteric information that the Secret Chief is guarding, you must give him a bribe.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tomas Stacewicz is not a landmine

One thing that I want to make clear is that Tomas Stacewicz was not the person that set me off yesterday. It may have seemed that way given the timing of posts and such not, but Tomas was innocent.

What happened was that I recieved a private message from someone, who decided to chew me out about my last blog post and claimed that I was bad-mouthing the HOGD/A&O and their Third Order with my way of reading the Fama.

And I exploded.

Let's be honest, people trying to force me to shut up is one of my personal landmines. Blame it on my childhood, my sunny disposition, the fact that I broke my fair share of lances in the Denver Witch Wars of the eighties, or whatever you like. Griffin blamed it on me getting out on the wrong side of bed---which is as good of explanation as any about why an over-zealous defender of the HOGD/A&O set me off yesterday.

But Tomas was not responsible for the explosion.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

For the lack of a better translation

It has been an interesting day. Besides recieving one of the nasty and demanding private messages ever, I did learn something today. The English translation of the Fama Fraternitatis that all the English and American Orders use is flawed compared to the German version (or so I have been informed).

(Actually, I do trust the opinion on the translation error--after all, I have seen some blunders when Hebrew is translated into English---why should German to English be any different?)

Personally, I was unable to find a German version of the Fama that was not set in the alphabet form that I struggle with, not alone a copy that might be accessible with the help of a translation program and a German to English dictionary by one's side. And it does amuse me that the one Order that I would have been expecting to use a different translation only has the same flawed English translation up on their website.

(One can only hope that one of their members does a full translation of it someday and allows those of us with limited language skills to see it. Oh who am I kidding---non-members will never be allowed to see it.)

So given that us the English Orders have been using a flawed translation, does this mean that our Rosicrucian philosophy is wrong? Of course, it does---or so I have been told. I am just not convinced that it as wrong as the person would like me to think it is. Then again, I am not convinced that we are even in the same tradition anymore---at a certain point, enourgh errors and differences of opinion create whole new systems.

(Of course, my real crime of the day was that I forgot to undermine my own authority by including fifteen million mentions of the fact that I am a wrongfully trained scholar---something that I am so sick and tired of doing in the name of peace.)

Now, I am willing to accept that the translation that we have been using loses something in the translation. But I am not sure that I am willing to bow down and toss out the version that the English and American schools have been using for a three and a half centuries. Especially in the light that it is only English version that I was able to find after two hours of internet searching.

The flawed English translation is the only version I have been exposed to in the various groups that I have belonged to over the years. It is the same version that I discuss with students when the subject comes up. And heavens knows that I have a hard enourgh time trying to maintain the little French and Hebrew that I know in the midst of my wife's plot to secretly teach me Spanish, that the very thought of trying to learn more German than the little bit I picked up studying the World Wars turns my stomach.

(Yes, I choose languages that utterly useless when it comes to the study of the Rosicrucian anyone really surprised by that?! If only I would have known in high school that I needed to make a different set of choices.)

So until I get my hands on a dual language scholar's edition, I have two choices: Keep using the flawed translation and NEVER discuss Rosicrucian philosophy ever again in public (especially if I want to keep a certain letter writer happy) or completely toss them out and make up something to replace them with. It is not a good set of choices at all, is it?

I was not talking about the Third Order

I am annoyed---very annoyed.

It has came to my attention that my previous blog post (Get paid to do the Great Work) has been read as a criticism of Griffin and company's Third Order. It was not talking about them. I did not mean for it to be read in that manner.

I was merely trying to come to a conclusion about whether or not, anything that we can call the Great Work, can be done as a form of paid employment.

And I thought it was important to include the fact that the Fama stated (or at least, the English version that I am familiar with) that physical immortality was not allowed to the members of the RC. Hence anyone who is promising to provide you with physical immortality shouldn't get paid to do that type of work if they are a member of the Fraternity; this has no bearing on spiritual immortality.

(I am sorry that I am restricted to English, bad English, bad French and bad Hebrew--and that I forget that you can not be a real Rosicrucian while being a poorly educated American. I did mention that I was restricted to an English translation.)

This fact about the fact that original Brotherhood not being able to cheat physical death really has no bearing on my personal beliefs about an afterlife, or whether or not a person can gain conscious, controllable existence after the death of their physical body. Nor does it represent a criticism of the HOGD/A&O and their Third Order.

I am sorry that I forgot that any reading of the RC documents has to be ran by Griffin's Third Order because they are the only ones with the correct reading. And yes, I am getting annoyed with the fact that one cannot write about the Golden Dawn and the Rosicrucians and come to a conclusion different from the HOGD/A&O official party line without being accused of criticising Griffin's group. In this case, I did not realize that my conclusion would go against their official version. (They really need to issue a complete manual on what one is allowed to say and not say.) And I especially annoyed because I did not think that my conclusion about employment had any bearing on what the HOGD/A&O is promising about spiritual immortality.

I was talking about the types of gainful employment open to a member of the RC Brotherhood. That is what I was concerned with, that is what I cared about, and that what I wanted the discussion to be about. Not every discussion has to end up reaffirming that Griffin's Third Order is the only correct method to gain spiritual immortality. Some of us, such as myself, are concerned with other Rosicrucian matters, such as one's proper place in the physical world, which includes the issue of employment.

Maybe I should have defaulted to using Crowley or the New Age materials instead. Oh wait, that material is only used by villians. Is it wrong to once again ask Griffin's Third Order to openly declare me an outlaw, so that I can focus on the work that concerns me?

Did I mention that I am annoyed? Very annoyed?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Get paid to do Great Work

Last night, one of my friends asked if there was any way to get paid to do the Great Work. Is it possible to make your livelihood doing the Great Work? or helping others do the Great Work?

Now, being a Rosicrucian, my answer is based on the Fama Fraternitatis. In this founding document of the Rosicrucian movement (which Golden Dawn and the BIORC may or may not be a part of--depending upon who you ask), we learn the original Brotherhood bound itself by six rules.

First, That none of them should profess any other thing than to cure the sick, and that gratis.

Second, None of the posterity should be constrained to wear one certain kind of habit, but therein to follow the custom of the country.

Third, That every year, upon the day C., they should meet together at the house Sancti Spiritus, or write the cause of his absence.

Fourth, Every Brother should look about for a worthy person who, after his decease, might succeed him.

Fifth, The word R. C. should be their seal, mark, and character.

Sixth, The Fraternity should remain secret one hundred years.

It is the first and second clauses that has the most bearing on this particular question.

Let's start with the second clause, which states that no future generation of the Order will be forced to wear a particular style of clothes, that they will adopt the customs of the country that they are living in. The extension of this clause to this question is the implication that if one normally gets paid for a profession in the country that one is living in, then a Rosicrucian is also entitled to charge for that service or product.

It is the first clause that complicates matters. There are three parts of it that we need to understand, for it applies to all in the Fraternity.

The first part is "profess"--which is not only to claim, but it is also related to the words professor and profession. It also relates to taking the vows of a religious Order. So does this mean that the only profession that a member of the RC can take is that of a doctor? Or that is the only subject that they can teach? Or are they only allowed to join religious Orders and tradtions that are focused on healing? Or something else?

The seond part we need to understand is what is meant by "cure the sick." Is this referring to physical sickness? Or to mental sickness? Or to societial sickness? Or all three?

We do know one thing that it does not refer to---the members of the Brotherhood are not allowed to cheat death. Even though they are allowed to live life free from disease and pain, "they could not live and pass their time appointed by God." Even the most learned of them, the very founder of the Fraternity, Brother R.C. dies. Yet the fact that they live from from illnesses and pain indicates that curing the sick does include the physical. So must the members of the RC be doctors and nurses? or must they be some form of healer which work affects the physical body? Ironically if the latter, it would mean that a member of the RC can work in any profession that provides care and substance to the physical body, or that has a positive effect on the human body---this would include cooks and writers.

The last and third part, we must understand is what is meant by "gratis." This word is related both to grace and to gratuity (aka tips). At the very least, the members of the RC are allowed to take tips for their work. The implication is that a member of the RC is not allowed to withhold their services from those who are unable to pay; but they are also allowed to accept payment, or at least tips, for the work that they are doing.

So given that the members of the Fraternity are allowed to adopt the customs of the country they are living in, the range of activities that could lead to healing, and the fact that the membership is allowed to take tips---yes, you can get paid to do the Great Work; just remember to have a sliding scale on your fee structure.

If you disagree with me, because you speak the original language and I am using an English translation, remember that I am allowed to adopt the customs of the United States of America which is the country I am living in. Also bear in mind that I would like to keep a roof over my head and food on the table without having to resort to robbing banks or begging on the street. Nevertheless, feel free to criticize my reading of the material---you can't possibly disagree with me more than the professors at the University of Colorado do.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Two repeated advertisements

Apologies to all who have already seen these two advertisements; but due to a hiccup with Facebook and Networked Blogs, those who follow this blog through Facebook did not see these two important advertisements.

One, my wife is now selling wheel thrown pottery in her Esty shop: Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery.

Royal Blue Mortar and Pestle.
She currently has one urn, four mortar and pestles, two herb jars, and a pair of candlestick holders available.

Two, I am giving away for free an ebook on Smashwords, Four Cornerstones, collecting the three best articles I wrote for the Hearthstone Community Church's Newsletter, as well as a reprint of the very first article that I wrote for the pagan/Wiccan/esoteric community. Did I mention that it is free? All I ask is that people give me some feedback on how horrible the meatgrinder conversion tool is treating the text.

Four Cornerstones available for free on Smashwords.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Advertisement Four Cornerstones

Four Cornerstones now available.
This is an advertisement---and not for pottery. My short ebook collecting the best three Hearthstone Community Church's Newsletter articles that I have written is now available for FREE on Smashwords. The only thing I ask is for people to come back here and tell me how badly the meatgrinder ebook conversion tool is treating the book.

And for those of you who are curious, the final tally for pottery, including the stuff she put up this morning, was four mortar and pestles, two cork jars, a pair of candleholders, and one urn.

Pottery finally available online

Royal Blue Cork Jar.

Royal Blue Mortar and Pestle.
Announcement: My dear wife has finally started to put some of her wheel thrown pottery up on her Etsy site: Celtic Soul Jewelry and Pottery. I am not sure what she will have up by the time she goes to bed tonight, but so far she has two cork jars and a royal blue mortar and pestle up.

(This post was pre-scheduled---my plan is to get off the computer and go do some of my homework, which is why I can't give you the final tally of what she now has available.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran Day

Veteran Cat  Salutes invisible parade

Just extending a thank you to all who have served in the armed forces. Blessed be.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jumping on the New Age and LoA Bandwagon

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Let it be known that Morgan Drake Eckstein, the slimest type of writer (one that would like to occasionally get paid for his writing), has jumped onto the New Age and Law of Attraction Bandwagon. All should avoid reading his ebooks. His expulsion from the ranks of honest occultists and decent Golden Dawn leaders will happen on the next slow Golden Dawn news day.

Message ends.

Or so it will go as soon as some critic decides to get upset with me because I said something that they did not like. Let's be honest, I have several strikes against me.

First, I am one of those writers who occasionally would like to make enourgh from my writing to pay for my cats' food bill. This desire to be paid has only increased this semester, thanks due to a major foul-up in the student loan system.

(In fact, if you would like me to quit writing short occult ebooks for the rest of the semester, please help the rest of my loan money get to my bank account. Heavens knows I would rather be focused on finishing up my senior year, so that I can move on to the masters program. If I am busy in school, I will not have time to annoy you.)

(And if you are one of my friends, help me get the rest of my loan money into my bank account. That way I do not have to go begging to feed my cats.)

Second, I am one of those occultists who did not burst into flames when I read The Secret. In fact, I can see how it would relate to magical work...through I will admit that I do not completely agree with how most people view the Law of Attraction.

Third, I am one of those people who tends to treat the various forms of magic as variations on a scheme. For me, Golden Dawn, Wicca, and the New Age are kissing cousins.

Fourth, and worst of all, I honestly think I know what I am talking about. And let's be honest being an opinionated loud-mouth is the greatest crime of them all.

Five Reasons Why Magic Fails now available on Smashwords.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Raccoon Apocalypse

Some people worry about the upcoming zombie apocalypse. I don't. That is because I am too busy fighting off the raccoon apocalypse.

When I moved to my current neighborhood eight years ago, I realized immediately that I had squirrels (the black walnut trees inplied that there were squirrels). For many years, I have feared the upcoming squirrel apocalypse, the demonic squirrels (my neighbor pointed out that they are demonic) keep chewing through the phone lines. Once a year, the phone company has to come out and repair the lines.

There was also the small feral cat colony that came with the house. That one surprised me---Sherlock Holmes, I am not. It probably shouldn't have, considering that two of the feral cats checked my wife and I out when we were originally looking at the house.

But honestly, I have never feared the kitty apocalypse that much. After all, I am on good speaking terms with Bast and Sekhmet. Years of loyal service should count for something.

(Yeah, I know---the cats have obviously eaten my brains already.)

Last night, I discovered a new fear---the raccoon apocalypse.

I have known about the raccoons in the neighborhood for some time. Yes, I am living just a few miles from downtown Denver (just north of the Denver Zoo and Golf Course). And I have raccoons visiting my porch late at night.

Last night, the raccoons were busy trying to enter the cat house that Mortimer sleeps in on the porch. (Mortimer refuses to be an indoor cat.) I am not sure if they were upset that there was no cat food in the bowl, or if they were looking for shelter. Either way, Mortimer did not like it. I ended up going outside twice to drive them off the porch.

I am sure that the raccoons thought about eating me. And my neighbor calls the squirrels demonic. I vote that the raccoons are the demonic hoarde of the upcoming apocalypse.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Day of the Dead

There are days that I can't help thinking about what my ancestors (both physical and spiritual) would think of my current activities. Today is one of those days. Today is Dia de los Muertos, (Day of the Dead).

What would my ancestors think of me, a non-traditional university student who seems to think that cats are the Secret Chiefs and that writing essays about the occult and posting them in public is perfectly fine?

Ironically, the two physical ancestors that I would most be concerned with their opinion, probably would have no problem with my activities. One of them used to ask why it was ok to have pictures of Jesus everywhere, but not pictures of the horned god. The other one would only find fault in the fact that it took me so long to enroll in college, and that I am not treating my business as a writer as seriously as I should.

No, it is the spiritual ancestors that would have a problem with me. Mathers would hate me for not believing many of his claims (my left foot is more Scottish than you are). Westcott would hate me because I am not as serious in lodge as I should be.  Yeats would hate me for not studying more poetry.

And of the spiritual ancestors that would sort of approve of me, Crowley is hardly a prize. In fact, Crowley would think that I need to annoy more people.

As for my living spiritual ancestors, who know who they are, I am quite sure that there are days they wonder how I managed to get into the clubhouse.

Of course, someday I will be dead, and someone's ancestor...I plan on haunting that person a lot.

I swore I have earned the love of my ancestors---sort of.