Saturday, April 28, 2012

Love the nicknames

I will admit that I love the nicknames that have been bestowed upon me during the latest flame war (or is it flame skirmish?). The list includes:

Morgan Schrodinger, the Neither-Neither man
Morgan Epstein

(And let's not forget Morgan Hatfield from a previous episode---of course, given the current round I should be Morgan McCoy to fit in with the rest of the lot. But I must admit that I would not want to claim either side of that historic feud; both families were a little crazy, even by my standards.)

And I do have a personal favorite.

Of course, you know these nicknames are the polite, safe for work nicknames (yes, I am curious about the X-rated blue set that they use in private). And that the goal of them is to make sure that no one can actually read my little Golden Dawn blog here and see what I really said---after all, how is Google supposed to know that I am MaybeMorgan and McMorgan?

For instance, there is a chance that I might openly mention the fact that I would prefer not going to either trademark holder for the right to call myself Golden Dawn. In the 1980s and 1990s, none of the lodges that practiced Golden Dawn had to do that. And we had a nice level of diversity with a third of the drama.

Hell with the politics---I am simply annoyed with the fact that I have to ask for permission to properly label what I am doing---which is practicing a set of rituals and techniques called Golden Dawn by various occult writers. And no one really needed to worry that someone might mistake me for someone doing strict traditional Golden Dawn work---I have built my own little brand as a lunatic writer. After all, I am Morgan the Martian, as well as Morgan the Cat Herder.

Update: June 5, 2012--Another nickname has been added to the set, Eckstone; this one I understand because my last name, Eckstein, translates into "corner stone."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Debating what model scale to use

Vault of the Adepts Sun Wall color study 2000 MDE.
When I did my color study of the coloring of the Vault of the Adepts back in 2000, I kicked around making a scale model of the Vault of the Adepts. Blame it on my days of playing table top wargames (remember FASA?) & Dungeons and Dragons. Or on the fact that I used to build model kits when I was a kid.

Periodically, I revisit the idea. A couple of weeks ago (or was it a month or two?), someone shared a link to a paper model (insert tab Y into slot Y) of the Rosicrucian Vault as described in some of the older RC material. And once again, I got the urge to make a scale model of the Golden Dawn version (RC et AC) of the Vault.

I would not be the first one to do so. A few years ago, I know that someone did one for a Golden Dawn conference (I have seen some of the pictures of the model). And let's be honest, I won't be the last person to do so.

Given my strong urge to do so, I think that I am going to add it to my list of things to do once the semester is over. I am going to need something to break up the paying work (yes, more dating site adcopy). And I can always use the model for studying the movements of the Adept rituals.

So the big question becomes what scale to use. Should I do it index card size? Or maybe 1:12 scale (an inch to a foot)? Or maybe 1:24 (half an inch to a foot)?

Both the index card size and the 1:12 scales would be okay for just myself. But the 1:24 would be better if I decide to assemble it into a small ebook to share with the rest of the universe.

Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ultimate extreme of secrecy

Here is a comment that I made on another blog that I want to expand on:

By the extreme rule of secrecy, everything is oath-bound and nothing can ever be said (or written) unless the person you are talking to was involved in an intiation or ritual that you were physically present at.

In other words, anything that was ever secret is still considered oathbound. And nothing can ever be removed from the oathbound category once it was declared oathbound.

By the way, this means that not only were Israel Regardie and Aleister Crowley oathbreakers, but so was William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Liddell (MacGregor) Mathers...because they all wrote about things that at one time was covered under the secrecy oaths of a previous esoteric tradition or society.

This is the ultimate extreme of secrecy. It is the extreme rule that says that if you are involved in the esoteric, you never, ever talk about it in public. The only time you talk about the esoteric and oathbound material is behind closed doors with a guard outside.

This is a level of secrecy that no esoteric writer (or blogger) can actually uphold. You cannot even advertise your own esoteric society if you are obeying this extreme understanding of secrecy.

Therefore, I honestly do not know anyone who goes this extreme route...except for those who would like no one else to talk about the esoteric. These are typically students who think that they understand the real purpose of secrecy, and have missed the boat. I think that we have all dealt with these people at one time or another.

By the way, one of the weird things about this level of secrecy is that stuff that the esoteric traditions adapt and take into their system also becomes oathbound. For the instance, the Hebrew alphabet, invented for things like accounting, once taken into an esoteric system (Kabbalah) is now considered oathbound and secret. Therefore even the proper order of the Hebrew Alphabet cannot be discussed if you are an initiate of an extreme secrecy tradition without a guard at the door.

Basic math, the ability to start a fire, most mythology, color theory---all these subjects you have to quit talking about if you are a member of the extreme secrecy camp.

If you find this extreme level of secrecy silly, you are not alone. But just remember there are those students out there, who despite discovering the first hints of the esoteric traditions from books, who believe that this is the level of secrecy that the esoteric traditions have to adhere to.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Vault as an example of extended GD color scales

Vault of the Adept color study Venus Wall 2000 MDE.
Some of my readers may be curious about how I realized that the Golden Dawn color scales could be extended in the fashion that I mentioned in last night's post. The answer is pure experience.

In 2000, during the opening days of Bast Temple/BIORC (as we were busy reinventing ourselves from the previous group, the EOEW), I had cause to turn my eyes back to my Golden Dawn studies after taking several years off to deal with the EOEW. One of the studies that I did involved the Vault of the Adepts (the ritual chamber that is necessary for Second Order operations).

At the time, I was restricted to the published Regardie material and the oh-so few notes that I have taken during my time in the IIOGD. So it was from Westcott's lectures about the Vault that I discovered the thread about the idea of mixing color in various sub-sets; the Vault itself can be classified as a specialized sub-set.

Oh, I had also gotten a crash course in the basics of color theory---it happened over a pizza.

After completing my first color study of the Vault, on index cards (the above picture is from that particular round of study), a little voice in the back of my head asked, "Why stop there? Why not continue to extend the use of the color scales further?" So in 2004, when I found myself needing a very exact set of targeting foci, I simply resumed that line of work to create a more specialized sub-set of colors for my own magical purposes.

(I have done several studies of the Vault coloring since the first one---I am about to start a new one as soon as the current college semester is over.)

Of course, one can argue that what I did was merely put together something from a dead bunch of papers. I like to think otherwise, for I belong to that division of the esoteric traditions that believes that published material allows the great Adepts of previous ages to instruct the students of the current age. In my mind, Westcott (thanks to Regardie) spoke to me across the ages and pointed me in the right direction.

Now, all this work I did took place before I saw a complete version of the Book of the Tomb. I was also ignorant of the Westcott Enochian Tablets. Both of which I have looked at with some interest, for I am always curious to see how different my work is from other students of the tradition. Doing this work before learning of such things just proves to me that there is a natural progression to the work that we do in Golden Dawn. This belief is based on pure experience.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Developments in Golden Dawn color scale work

Golden Dawn Colors of the Sub-Sephiroth of Netzach of Briah.
One of the nice things that I can say about the internet, and the little corner of it that Golden Dawn inhabits, is that it is nice to occasionally see the work that other people have done in the Golden Dawn tradition. For me, it is especially interesting to see the results that other people got in those areas that I had already done experimental work in.

For instance, back in the first quarter of 2004 (it was sometime between December 2003 and March 2004---I don't really keep good dates in some of my GD sketchbooks), I was working with the Golden Dawn color scales. On the side, I was doing some specialized spell work. How specialized? Well, I needed the colors of several sub-sephiroth for targeting purposes.

The concept for extending the color scales is easy enourgh to figure out, which is probably why it is not considered important or secret enourgh for some Adepts. Personally, I like using the color scales and their extensions. At heart, I am still an artist despite the fact that I chose to be a slimy literary historian and writer of bad Russian Bride adcopy instead.

(I have absolutely no idea where the extensions of the color scales would fall in the curriclum of Golden Dawn, other than it is someplace in the Inner Order...or at least, the style of Inner Order that I am used to.)

A couple of days ago, I got to see a slideshow about the Cross of Victory. And today, I got to leaf through Volume V, Edition 3 (Vernal Equinox 2012) of the Hermetic Virtues journal which has an article by Tabitha Cicero in it.

(Is it actually "leaf" when it is a pdf? Yes, that is a writer's question.)

Tabitha's article, The Path of the Chameleon: Golden Dawn Color Studies, focuses on the logical extension of the Golden Dawn color scales. Basically, the color scales can be extended to provide colors for all the possible energetic interactions. For instance, the color scale work that I was doing in early 2004 can produce a palette of four hundred sub-sephiroth colors to allow one to tap into very specific sephirah energies.

(Actually, there is no need to stop at four hundred colors; one can go for a sub-sub sephirah if one desires to. And sub-sets can interact with other sub-sets; there are millions of colors to generate if one is willing to spend lots of time on this particular Golden Dawn method.)

Anyways, it is interesting to see that other people have also followed the various hints and instructions of the Adept Minor material and extended the color vocabulary of Golden Dawn to include energies like the sub-sephiroth. If you get a chance, be sure to buy a copy of Vernal Equinox 2012 Hermetic Virtues journal and look at all the pretty colors of the various sub-sets that Tabitha is exploring.

(I will admit that my color scales are slightly off compared to the ones that I have seen produced by Olen Rush, Nick Farrell, and Tabitha Cicero. There is a reason why I decided to make a living as a writer rather than as an artist. Nevertheless, in some cases, I am actually in the general ballpark of the colors that they have produced. It may be just simply the fact that I have very little formal art education---outside of a couple of classes, I am a self-taught artist. Or it could be the fact that I prefer working with colored pencils. Nevertheless, take my color examples with a grain of salt and work out your own set.)

You do not have to out yourself

One of the traditions that the BIORC holds to, enforced by our secrecy oath, is that only the individual member themselves have the right to reveal their membership in the tradition. Unless the member themselves steps out of the broom closet or the Vault, their membership is considered a SECRET.

Furthermore, the details of their lives and how much they share about themselves is determined by themselves. In addition, they have the right to write under a motto and never have to reveal their real legal name or any other identifiying information to the public.

(I am sure that I do not have to remind anyone of what happened to Westcott according to the famous story told by Crowley.)

This is a really old custom if you believe the history of the Rosicrucian tradition. Think about it. How much do you really know about the founder of the RC tradition? Do you ever know his name? Do you know anything about him beyond the information contained in the three original RC manifestoes?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I am a pagan and not a horse

Fuck you---I am Cat---I will play with anyone I want to.
Some days, you just have to say that "A white horse is not a horse."

And this is proving to be one of those months...I have yet to see a day on the blogosphere where it does not apply.

For those of you who are tuning in late, there is an campaign going on another blog that is based on the bear trap of "If you agree with anything that I say, then you have to agree that my entire world view is true." It is one of the reasons that I dislike the blogger in question; they use this bear trap all the time.

(Over the years, my dislike of this person has grown based purely on their public actions. It is probably just a personal problem.)

It must be nice to live in a black and white universe where there are only heroes and villians, the good guys and the crooks. It must be even nicer to be able to tell the difference between the two camps. Myself, I live in a shaded universe without no clear cut definitions of right and wrong, no clear cut difference between perfect and imperfect.

The most amusing part is that the line between good and evil they seem to be using is whether you are pagan or not. If you belong to a society that was Christian-only any time in its entire history, then you are evil. Gee, one should burn their Rosicrucian union card, shouldn't they?

This is coming from a convert to paganism (sometime after 1995). I think that they might be in their anti-Christian phase. I expect them to now run around cleaning up all evidence that they are a convert to paganism---they periodically scrub their past history to fit their current set of arguments. For instance, they would rather scrub the fact that they were members of certain groups rather than say, "Gee, that was a really bad decision in hindsight."

Now, I have been a life-long pagan. In fact, I have been a life-long Wiccan.

Maybe I should give some context here. My father was a Catholic, and my mom was something else (one of those Christian groups that really frowns on the Catholic Church). Based on the research I have done, my family on my father's side at some point converted to the Catholic Church. It seems that side of the family might have originally been Jewish.

Given the difference in opinion about religion between my parents, it was decided that I would be raised without a religion. So the only exposure to Christianity I recieved during childhood was a few children story books focused mainly on the Old Testament (or maybe it is because I only read the Old Testament stories).

But I was exposed to a religion as a kid---my dear aunt was a Wiccan of the Gardnerian stripe. It didn't help that my mom believed in reincarnation and astrology. So when I say that I have been a life-long Wiccan, I am serious.

I came out of the broom closet in 1978 when I was thirteen. The timing of this decision was a very bad idea in hindsight. As a result of coming of the broom closet, a strong attempt was made to "save my soul."

It was the attempt to save my soul and the attitudes of certain Christians that caused me to go through a rather long period where I was anti-Christian. Either that or I spent an extended time period being a teenager.

My anti-Christian period is matter of public record. If one is curious about how bad my anti-Christian bias got, feel free to read the last article contained in Four Cornerstones (available for free on Smashwords).

I was still in my ant-Christian phase when I first encountered Golden Dawn. And I was still allowed into the Order. I somehow convinced them, despite my charming personality, to invite me into Inner Order. Of course, in all fairness, this was a branch of the tradition that gave an earlier AO claimed-descent group the bird.

So I am one of those Golden Dawn members that was told "If you are not a Christian, you have to be willing to study Christian symbolism." And I said Ok.

Later on, I was briefly a member of the Thelemic Golden Dawn, a fact that I have not hidden either. And this was despite the fact that I do not completely believe in the Book of the Law. This may or may not make me a Thelemic. (I don't consider myself a Thelemic, but there are a couple of Thelemics who do---it is one of the reasons my lodge does not have an anti-Thelema rule in Outer Order. Inner Order does, but it is a "You have to make a choice between Orders rule"---it would apply equally to someone who had a membership in the HOGD/AO or the MOAA as it does to the AA and OTO.)

Of course, I am hoping that this is just an anti-Christian phase that I am seeing. I fear that it is just another attempt to get the rest of us to acknowledge that the person in question is the greatest Golden Dawn magician and leader of all time. (Ok, I know that statement is wrong, but it is how I tend to read most of his tactics---it is the only end goal that makes sense of half of his statements.)

So I am in a position where I am reading his current line of arguments and thinking to myself:

"Gee, I was Golden Dawn before someone took out their trademark. And honestly, the SRIA has never said a single word to me about what I am currently doing. In fact, I am not even sure that the SRIA is aware of me...outside of one individual who likes funny cat pictures. And honestly, if the pagans are allowed to study their esoteric mysteries in private and restrict their membership to fellow and lady believers, shouldn't the Christians be allowed to study their own mysteries in private also? As for the threat of a group gaining full control over Golden Dawn, I am more worried that a dog lover may succeed."

Personally, I am more worried about certain politicians and their "Christians are being attacked" nonsense. That line of thought could make it unpleasant for all of us.

And now some content for the "A white horse is not a horse" comment. I am studying Chinese Philsophy and Religion at the moment. The Logician School (Ming-Chia or Ming-Pien) thought that there needed to be an one on one correspondence between words and reality. What the word "white" describes has nothing to do with horses; and the word "horse" is not describing a color---and if it sounds stupid, well, there is a reason why this school of Chinese philosophy disappeared after the Flowering of a Thousand Schools period.

I used it because it was fresh in my mind, and it is like saying that "A Golden Dawner in the SRIA is not a Golden Dawner." Of course, the fact that I believe this will be used as proof that I am not a member of a true Golden Dawn Order. And so it goes.

Remember Elvis loves you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Traffic is a devil (blog advice)

My traffic figures for the month looks like the devil to me.
One of the things about having an overactive imagination and blogging is that occasionally you see things that are not really there. For instance, it looks like there is a horned devil in my traffic figures for the last thirty days---it is not the devil; it is just my imagination.

Of course, no blogger should be overly concerned with their traffic figures. What you really need to be concerned about is how many of your readers (if any) are actually helping you fulfill your goals as a blogger.

You know that all-important reason that keeps you blogging---be it money (selling product and memberships), entertainment (send me more cat pictures), or talking about how awesome Elvis is.

It is easy to figure out when it is money related---you just weigh the bag of loot at the end of the month.

The other two examples (and there are many more possible goals) are harder to decide if you have made any progress during the month...mainly because Elvis tends to take all the really good cat pictures with him when he leaves the building.

Remember that you can have a million readers a month, and if none of them help you fulfill the reason that you are blogging for....well, you are just wasting your time. Unless you are merely trying to inflate your ego, in which case, a million readers a month would really go a long ways towards that goal.

For the curious, I blog to entertain myself (aka upset people---boy, it was a good month), to inflict cat pictures on all of you, and occasionally to inform and instruct (but not often because that would be setting the bar too high). And this is not much different than my original reason for starting this blog...which was to comment about Golden Dawn related stuff without having to worry that my cat-inspired comments would not be approved. Sadly, the initial reason for blogging is still valid---perhaps even more so today.

Fuck you---I am Cat---I will say what I want.

Smashwords Coupon Reminder

Five Reasons Why Magic Fails.
Just a reminder that the Smashwords coupon code for Five Reasons Why Magic Fails (50% off--$2.50) HD89E expires on April 29th, 2012.

Rash of occultists sending out spam

The only good spam is the sandqwich meat that kitty loves. Yes, my cat loves spam---he might be Hawaiian.
There are three big news stories today. And two of them are not really important.

To the first one, I say, "That old news has been around the soap opera sewer for ages."

To the second one, "Promise that I do not have to read your comments ever again?"

And finally, the one I chose to blog about---Darcy Kuntz is not sending out spam. It just looks that way.

One of the things that has reared its ugly head in the pagan and Wiccan communities is that sometimes you recieve a piece of spam from someone that you are surprised is sending you spam. It has now moved to the Golden Dawn and ceremonial magic communities.

So while I have recieved several spam emails from "Darcy Kuntz," I seriously doubt that it is Darcy doing it.

Either they have hacked into Darcy's current email account, or they discovered and hacked into an abandoned email account that he used to have.

The earliest way to determine if you have been hacked secretly and sending out spam to all your occult friends---put yourself into your address book. In my case, my other email address is in my address book---if I recieve a spam email from the other account, I know I have been spammed hacked. (And I check both accounts every day.) If you are sending out spam thanks to a hacker, change your password quickly.

And whatever you do---don't use "secret" or "password" as your secret password; that is just begging for someone to hack into your email account.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Lesser Elvis Banishing Ritual of the Sequined Pentagram

According to legend, the folowing ritual was received by the Superiorly Honored Jaye while scrying into the shiny black of a vinyl Elvis record. When I asked one of the Secret Chiefs about it, they told me---Meow! Initiates of Singing Order of the Revived Elvis do this ritual slightly differently to reflect the mysteries of their esteemed Order.

The purpose of this ritual is clear the area of all Elvis-negative influences. This includes all that not patriotic and all that is not of White Trash at heart.

Begin by facing in the direction of Graceland. For easy reference, we shall call this East.

1.Visualize the infinitely bright light of a Las Vegas spotlight descending upon you.

2.Draw this Holy Light into your head, intoning: LOVE ME

3.Point downward, hand over… personal privates…, intoning: TENDER

4.Point to right shoulder. LOVE ME

5.Point to left shoulder. TRUE

This is the Holy Cross of Elvis. Conclude by saying: “Uh-huh”.

1.Facing East (Graceland), draw a bright, blue, sequined pentagram in the air. Be sure to visualize the light reflecting off of the shimmering sequins. Intone: Ehhhh

2.Repeat step six to the south. Intone: Lllll

3.To the west, intone: Vihhhhh

4.To the north, intone: ssssss

Between each of the above steps, you should make part of a circle connecting each pentagram. This circle should be made of the Light of the Holy Las Vegas Spotlight.

Imagine yourself bathed in the Holy Vegas Light. Face Graceland.

1.Before you, imagine Elvis as a baby, containing his True Elvis Potential. This is the Elvis of Air. Say: ELVIS, thou who were born a King in Lowly Surroundings. Fulfil your potential. Be present with me today.

2.Behind you, imagine the young man Elvis, on the brink of Stardom. This is the Elvis of Water. Say: ELVIS, thou who art about to realize your Kingliness among men. Fulfil that Potential. Be with me today.

3.To your right, imagine Elvis in the prime of his career, when he was making movies and the like. He thrusts his pelvis suggestively. This is the Elvis of Fire. Say: ELVIS, thou who art leading us to Light. Be with me today.

4.To your left, imagine Elvis in his Las Vegas stage. He wears sunglasses and is slightly pudgy. This is the Elvis of Earth. Say: ELVIS, thou who didst die on the pot of an overdose. Be with me today.

Repeat the Holy Cross of Elvis. Thus ends the Ritual.

This ritual should be repeated daily. If you wish, you may use Elvis music in the background to aid your concentration. If you have an altar, it should contain a Microphone Wand, a Microphone-Stand Dagger, an Elvis “45 Disc, and small porcelain toilet (Chalice).

May the Holy Light of Las Vegas Shine within you.

Love is the Law. Love under Rock & Roll.

Disclosures and fair warning

First, the disclosures---

For those who are curious, I came out of the broom closet in 1978. I have been openly Wiccan ever since.

Several Golden Dawn groups have allowed me in, and promoted me despite the fact that I am openly Wiccan. And yes, that includes Inner Order.

It was David Griffin who first called me a Golden Dawn leader. And we all know that he is absolutely correct in all things Golden Dawn. Of course, it should be noted that everytime he calls me a Golden Dawn leader, it is because I said or did something that he disapproves of.

Now the fair warning---

While I am waiting the final outcome of the vote, enourgh votes have already been cast to indicate that my resignation is going to be rejected by Bast Temple, and the verdict of "no GD crime committed" is going to happen. Which means that I am still a member of Golden Dawn despite the fact that some would like to see me leave for my offenses against them.

Then again, no non-HOGD/AO can truly be considered Golden Dawn given the lack or rejection of lineage and the Secret Chiefs and the Third Order and their representative, so you can still consider me part of the anti-GD. In fact, I imagine that the Secret Chiefs are going to declare me banned from Golden Dawn any day now.

So yes, I can be a member of GD, and not a member of GD; a leader of GD, but not a leader of GD. And it is all because of the rules that someone else insists playing by.

Next up: More Elvis! Stay tuned.

I am pagan and wiccan and in Golden Dawn

It was with some amusement yesterday that I read that there is only one Golden Dawn Order with an openly pagan leader. Gee, I can name a few others...except that a comment by me is currently the kiss of death. Heck, for two seconds there, me a pagan and a Wiccan was a Golden Dawn leader...just long enourgh to burn my union card for saying something that I consider to be the truth.

So why are the Wiccans and pagans not more visible in Golden Dawn?

Simply, because a member's religion is no one else's business. Those of us who known as pagans and Wiccans fall into two categories---either we are open about our religion with everyone despite society's attempt to shut us up and accidentally became visible in Golden Dawn, or we are pagan and Wiccan leaders who just happen to study and practice Golden Dawn techniques.

In my case, I was open about my religion before encountering Golden Dawn, and borrowed some stuff that was not bolted down.

In the case of the supposed "only pagan GD leader" they have claimed the right to be a pagan leader by virtue of super-secret lore placed in their possession. Of course, given the fact that the pagans and Wiccans are generally anti-leadership, claiming to be a pagan leader almost makes you NOT a leader in the first place.

So both Golden Dawn styles have pagans among their leaders; it is more of a question of if one is willing to sit in the same lodge with them.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Why the valerian is in jar and locked in a closet

True story---the cat ate the valerian.
Found this meme picture and so many others at Little fails of a Wiccan Cat.

True story---the very first time I brought valerian root, I came home and left it on the counter. I came back later and discovered that cats like valerian much better than they like catnip. I have also discovered that they will open a box of tea bags if the tea has valerian in it.

That is why at my house, valerian is not only kept in a jar, it is also locked in a cat proof closet.

Unfortunately, Elvis occasionally lets the cats into the closet and mayhem occurs. That last part may or may not be true...depends upon how much you like fried banana sandwiches.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Started to write a cult danger book

One of the things about being a writer is that you can tell a lot about what is going on in your life by the stuff that you are writing. Sometimes, it is surprising to see what is coming off of your keyboard.

I have started to outline and write a book about the various troublesome behavior that I consider to be the warning signs that an esoteric group has became or is in danger of becoming a cult.

Gee, I knew that I did not approve of the current campaign being used by a certain group, but I did not realize that I considered it that alarming until I started to outline the chapter list.

Of course, let's be honest---the instance that they decided to go after a fellow writer, I was against them. Professional reasons trumps my normal "I could care less" attitude. And given the fact that everyone that supported the writer, and thought that this Order's tactics were wrong, is now labeled as an enemy...well, it is as good of a time as any to write this particular book.

And there is always someone who will consider a book of this nature to be a personal attack against them, a habit that is going to get a chapter to itself. I remember a couple of years ago, it was Robert Zink and his Order that would have considered me an enemy; now, it is another Order. Give the world another ten years, it will be someone entirely different.

As I stated in my rough draft for the introduction: The bad behavior remains the same; the players merely change.

If I am going to be labeled a villian, then I just as well be a villian. In fact, I am going to be the best villian that I can be. And in my case, I write books filled with poison ink.

(Let's be honest. There is no way you can write a book about the danger signs of cults without being accused of being a villain, no matter how much you focus exclusively on the behavior without naming any actual names of the guilty. And no, this book is not aimed merely at them either, but they are going to claim that it is---just like Zink would have.)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Beware of Work for Hire in esoteric Orders

This post is inspired by a couple of comments that Neo G. made to a previous post.

One of the danger signs that I have seen over the years is when an Order makes you sign over all control of something that you wrote over to them. Or as it is called in the writing trade "work for hire"---a writer being paid (or not) for all the rights to something that they wrote. In other words, the buyer controls the entire copyright, not the writer themselves.

The person that Neo mentioned is not someone I can picture doing such a practice for two reasons.

One, they work with Protected Confidential Restricted information (substitute whatever term that your county uses for the lowest level of Classified [Secret] information). And they treat their entire system in that manner; the amount of Unrestricted (Unclassified) public information is...well, you can put it in a teaspoon. I can't imagine them allowing anyone to have access to anything that might reveal their sources...whether in print or the form of a contact person. In that group, everything is filtered through a single person.

Two, and more importantly, they are not the least bit interested in anything that a modern person can assemble. In fact, if a modern researcher can put it together, then it is automatically rubbish. The only good stuff is hundreds, if not thousands, of years old and requires "special skills" to translate into the modern languages.

That more or less eliminates that person from my list of usual suspects. I am not saying that it could not happen (because groups have gone surprisely bad before, so you can NEVER declare a group free from any defect), but that person and their group are nowhere on my chart as a probable violator in this manner.

On the other hand, there are two people that make the top of my list.

One is because of the number of reports I have heard that ordinary rank and file members were writing all the material and the leader was claiming all the credit. I have a rule that you don't hear the same story from a dozen people without there being a good reason for the details to match.

The other person, well, I experienced it firsthand, so I know that it is true. As a writer, it alarmed me when they asked for ALL RIGHTS, and I could not even show others what I was working on (and by others, I mean people who have swore the same set of Oaths that I had). Later, I confirmed that the person was claiming authorship of material that other people wrote. It is sad when many of your lessons are being written by students on the same Grade level that you are on.

(For the record, there were other problems that made that one look minor in comparsion, and so it goes.)

Of course, I cannot mention actual names because someone might mistake them for another group. And so it goes.

Now, I can understand an esoteric Order asking for limited rights. Some of the material I have written has the note that Fraternal Rights has been granted to the BIORC. It is part of my "if a bus runs over me" insurance plan. It allows the Order to continue to use selected material if something unforeseen happens to me. But it only allows them to use the material in ritual or in the lessons, they have no other publication rights. After all, I am one of those evil writers, who insists that my copyright has a monetary worth. And my wife will need money if I suddenly die.

But a leader or an Order asking to control the entire copyright of something that you have written, well, I have never seen any good come of it. Therefore, it is one of the things that I warn people to look out for when they are trying to figure out the relative evil of an esoteric group.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Monkey Brain Joke

I read the Woot email just for the Monkey Brain jokes.
The other day, the daily Woot email had a monkey brain joke in it. And I am supposed to dislike that...because eating monkeys is wrong. Of course, many of the Woot jokes are wrong. I don't read them...honestly, I just subscribe to the daily email because I buy the occasional T-Shirt from Woot.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Seven Days of Easter Kitties Day 7

Easter Kitty, err, Bunny, wishes you a Happy Easter!
This is not my cat. I would never, ever think of doing something like this to my cat. You are just so wrong if you think I would.

Cat opens the freezer

I am impressed by Oscar and his freezer opening skills. Trust a cat to figure out how to do this.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Seven Days of Easter Kitties Day 6

Easter Kitty takes all the eggs and the toys.
Isn't Easter Kitty special? Don't you just want to hug and kiss Easter Kitty? I wonder if Easter Kitty would trade one of their toys for a deviled egg.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Seven Days of Easter Kitties Day 5

We will now reveal to you the special power of the Easter Kitty.
Say it with me. GROSS! And all this time, you thought it was the Easter Bunny responsible for Easter eggs. Well, you were wrong. The secret involves a cat and some art supplies. Please do not try this trick at home.

Why no name change for this RC reformation?

One of the questions that I often kick around is: How much change has to happen before a Order becomes a new Order?

Is changing the Grade Signs enourgh?

The Passwords?

The Rituals?

The Oath of Obligation?


The ultimate secret?

The focus of the system?

At what point in time, do the changes add up to a new Order? When does an Order have to adapt a new name because it is no longer the old Order?

Looking over the history of the Rosicrucian periodic reformations, we see the rituals change, the focus change, and we ALWAYS see a name change. Except for this time. This time, we saw the group claiming the reformation trademark the name and change everything else. Why?

The entire system has been changed (to keep the Current and Tradition pure from traitors to the system), but they are still using the same old name. And when one starts to kick around the possible reasons, well, I can't think of a good reason for the old name to be used with what is essentially a brand-new system.

Could it be that the Rosicrucian reformation is actually happening in another group? Could it be that the Golden Dawn is not where the reformation is happening?

It is something to think about.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Seven Days of Easter Kitties Day 4

Easter Kitty would like you to spare an egg.
A few years ago, I was working with some of the homeless teenagers here in Denver. (I was running a restaurant and I was willing to hire them---many of them deserve more help.) One of them told me that the key to invisibilty was the words, "Spare change." Given the evidence presented by this Easter Kitty, we can see that asking for "Spare Eggs" will not make you invisible.

Bullshit Dam Breaks

No, no, it is not what you think. It is a fireside chat from Marvin E. Quasniki, the candidate I support for President.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Seven Days of Easter Kitties Day 3

Separted at birth, the Easter Bunny and the Easter Kitten.
Today, not only do you get an Easter Kitty, you also get an Easter Bunny. How is that for entertainment?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Seven Days of Easter Kitties Day 2

It is a chick trying to eat the Easter Kitty.
Some people's cats are more patient than mine will ever be. If I tried to put a hat like this on one of my cats, I would lose an arm...well, maybe, I do have one cat that seems remarkably patient with my antics...but then again, I have not tried to put a set of bunny ears on him yet.

The Official BIORC stance on Secret Chiefs

Another thing I realized reading the internet today is given the wide views about the Secret Chiefs, that it would be useful for some to know the official Bast Temple (BIORC) stance on Secret Chiefs. Straight from the bylaws of the group, we have:

The lodge does not recognize the authority of the Secret Chiefs. The Secret Chiefs have been used to justify the abuse of power and authority in other groups. If the Secret Chiefs do contact a member of the lodge (Order), we will try to keep an open mind, but their suggestions and commands will not become law in the lodge unless approved by the voting members of the lodge. (Passed on 16 Sept 2001.)

By the way, this was in the bylaws long before any Bast Temple member heard of David Griffin.

And that is all the Bast Temple officially says about the Secret Chiefs. Sad, isn't it? You would think that we would be knee-deep in lore about the Secret Chiefs---after all, the Secret Chiefs have been behind all the important stuff in the system. But no, we merely note that we do not recognize their authority.

After I leave, I imagine that the bylaw will be rewritten to include "their representatives from other Orders." I will be the last member of the BIORC that Griffin can use the "your fellow members must be upset at your actions towards me and my Order" ploy against.

Black magic and me

Reading the internet, I realized that some people believe that when I mentioned using black magic last night that I was thinking of David Griffin.


No, I am thinking about my empty wallet. If I am going to dirty my hands with black magic, for instance use the Picatrix (which someone says is black magic), I am going to go after money. After all, I have student loans that are about to start coming due.

And considering that I am a writer, we all know any spell I use to increase my income has to be black magic...because all writers are evil, along with scholars and historians (I am just evil in spades, ain't I?).

Griffin and his Order do not have to worry about me using black magic against them. I got better and more important things to do.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Seven Days of Easter Kitties Day 1

Easter kitty is not amused.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled funny cat photos. Here is a Easter Kitty that looks slightly annoyed.

And yes the Order has to approve my resignation

And yes, for some strange reason, the Order that I belong to has to actually approve of my resignation. But I am not worried; if Griffin is right, they will gladly show me to the door, and I will be free to practice all types of black magic once again.

Seriously, can you picture any Golden Dawn Order (in this case, Golden Dawn based) agreeing with my opinions and deciding that my language was acceptable, my opinions acceptable, and that I do not owe Griffin and his Order an apology? It is unthinkable because we all know that Griffin is always right.

Yeah, I am looking forward to that old-time black magic. Here comes bad ass Morgan. First up, I think I want some money---lots of money, maybe even some gold.

I am looking forward to some cursing

Rufus just exploded and reminded me that if my resignation is accepted, I get to go back to cursing people. That pesky oath of obligation has been in the way for too long, and I have a long list of people I have beefs with. And there is a whole bunch of black magic I have been waiting to try out. It will be like the good old days again. C'mon Bast Temple you know that you want to let me loose.

(And in no way should this blog post be read as an admission of previously black magic use...I was never a power hungry psychopath dabbling in dark ceremonial magic.) 

Hey, I can now work with the Picatrix---let the good times begin.

Yes I am resigning

Yes, I am resigning from Golden Dawn. I have no choice.

David Griffin and the membership of his Order, the HOGD/AO demand an apology for something I wrote. Actually several things. And Griffin says I used the vilest language to describe his membership. Honestly, the man has not worked construction if he thinks that my language was that bad.

Several times over the last few years, Griffin has told me that my fellow members, the good people of Bast Temple, are getting tired of my bad-mouthing of him. I am sick and tired of him trying to shut me up as a blogger, book reviewer and a writer. I do not agree with all the man's opinions, and I think that I have a right to speak my mind.

He believes that as a member of Golden Dawn that I do not have that right. Therefore, I am going to resign from Golden Dawn to keep my right to continue saying what I believe to be true.

I believe that it is wrong to ask one's membership to give a writer a whole bunch of negative one-star reviews on Amazon. If I did something like that, I would be voted out of office. But then again, I am not really Golden Dawn, am I? After all, I was elected to the office that I hold.

I was taught that you look after the health of the egregore first and foremost. My resignation protects the egregore of my group, prevents it from being poisoned by the fact that I think that Griffin has crossed a line. It does not matter what Griffin intended; the actions that he and his group have taken raises alarm bells on the cult evalution scales. And once you start down that slope, it is hard to hit the brakes.

I am not going to apologize for opinions that I hold. I would rather resign from the tradition I love rather than to tell the lie he wants me to tell. Apologizing for saying something that I believe would be telling a lie. It would poison the very heart of the egregore that I am charged with protecting.

Therefore, I chose to leave Golden Dawn. But do not think that I am going to shut up.

The Easter Kitties are coming!

Easter kitty left you a big surprise.
As my regular readers know, the purpose of this blog is not to insult Griffin and his crew. No, the true purpose of this blog is inflict the more amusing cat photos that I find on the web on you, my readers.

(The whole talking about Tarot, witchcraft and the esoteric is just to lure victims readers in.)

And as such, be warned that seven whole days of Easter Kitties is starting tomorrow.

You are not getting an apology

To Griffin and company:

You are not getting an apology.

I have expressed my honest opinions, and been told that I am utterly wrong by you.

I feel that you think that my Golden Dawn and AO related experiences (not your trademarked AO, but they did call themselves AO) are invalid and unimportant. That alarms me.

I feel insulted by your anti-scholar, anti-historian, anti-writer, anti-book reviewer stance.

I feel like I have been called a witch burning Christian.

And yes, I whine and complain a lot; my Jewish ancestors live on in me.

The only opinion you seem to believe is valid is yours. I disagree. Therefore, you will not be getting an apology from me.

I am sorry, but I think we have to be enemies.

Morgan Drake Eckstein

Secret Chief Kitty adds her personal commentary.

Truth about the conspiracy against Griffin and the AO

Conspiracy writing cat listens to Elvis between blog posts.
Ahh, we all knew this day would come. One of the Sorors involved in the conspiracy against David Griffin and his completely awesome AO Order has finally cracked, telling the truth for the whole world to know.

I no longer have to lie about the conspiracy. No longer do my cats (Secret Chiefs) have to come up with new and better lies to hide the truth. Finally, I can tell the truth.

Elvis is a better spiritual leader than David Griffin.

Furthermore, Nick Farrell and Pat Zalewski both know it. Their respective Orders are all about listening to Elvis albums and trying to understand the full awesomeness of the King---Elvis Presley. They have all his albums, and one of them even has some of his sweat in a vial.

And to prove that this is the truth, I will tell you a startling revelation---the Vault of the Adepts is made with painted velvet walls, and all the Third Order members wear blue suede shoes. It is true. All the proof you need is to know is that Elvis lived, died, and will be revived in the future.

The Secret Chiefs say, Meow--you are nothing but a hound dog.

Elvis fans know the truth.