Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ora Auroro

Today during my daily blog reading (it is called avoiding the hard work of writing), I read about how the Google Translate app for Android was being upgraded to provide support for esperanto. As if Klingon wasn't enourgh for strange language support. (For the record, I actually know a couple of people who do speak Klingon...but I know no one who speaks esperanto.)

And yes, the question "Do people actually write in esperanto?" popped into my head.

For those people who do not understand why this post is being written here and not on my science fiction blog, just remember that a decade or two ago, there was an esoteric Order who attempted to convince its members to learn esperanto. (Should esperanto be capitalized? I don't know.) In theory, it is a wonderful idea. Adepts need an universal language to be able to communicate across international lines.

Based on my own blog stats, I presume that the universal language consists of zeros and ones, and involves the use of Google Translate or Babelfish. And so it goes.

Yes, I own a esperanto/English dictionary. But beyond looking up "Golden Dawn" in it, and using it for brief sentences and phrases for my science fiction writing, the dictionary sees no use. And yes, "Ora Auroro" (spelled with the funny U with the bowl on top) is how one would say Golden Dawn in esperanto. Enourgh said, right?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

If America invented Golden Dawn

Secret Chief Wisdom #76: The American flag makes a wonderful bed for one's massive ego.
Today, someone (let's call him George Washington) made a comment that got me thinking about something: Exactly what would Golden Dawn look like if it had been an American invention?

First off, there would be absolutely no chance that what George Washington is fighting for, his ideal of what Golden Dawn is, would be what the Americans would have invented. No, it would be something very different.

I can't imagine that an American Golden Dawn would have paid much attention to any esoteric tradition that started on the European continent, nor anywhere else before 1776. The whole idea that wisdom is handed down guru to guru is alien to the American idea that anyone can rise up to the greatest of heights of power. And if there would be anything about a secret tradition, it would be like the image of the noble Red Indian as used in the fraternal societies; images used to prop up the American myth of independence and freedom.

There would be no national Order, not alone a international Order. No, very state would have its own little Grand Lodge. Cross the state line and you are in a different jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the emphasis on lodge attendence would be non-existent. No, you would recieve all your lessons through the post office. (My proof of this is BOTA and AMORC.) As long as you keep sending in your dues, you keep recieving the weekly lesson. The oral tradition would be completely absent.

An American Golden Dawn would supply you with decent health insurance at a reasonable rate. There would be lots of networking opportunities for those looking for employment and business deals.

An American Golden Dawn would be deep in spiritiualism. Table tapping, ring and disc, and seances would be the height of American Golden Dawn spiritual techniques, and the magical tools would be straight out of Pennslyvania Dutch hexcraft. Everything would be clothed in the Bible; there would not be an Egyptian god in sight, not even in the Adept Extemptus material.

In an American Golden Dawn, all officers would be elected. The budget and membership figures would be known by all members. We would also have Golden Dawn license plate holders for our expensive cars.

And best of all, the Zelator Grade initiation would not cause the initiate to have financial and health hardships. No, America is about money; both the Law of Attraction and the Master Key System are American inventions. Heck, making money would be the height of the American Golden Dawn system (again, I point to BOTA and AMORC as proof--though it should be noted that I read the material through the eyes of a happy little cynic). Spiritual development? Magical development? These are only necessary if they help you earn more money and take it to heaven when you die.

The only thing that George Washington has right is the fact that an American Golden Dawn would have a Grand Lodge (the Nevada Grand Lodge of the Righteous Golden Dawn) in Las Vegas, which is the symbol of what Americans most want--money, sex, drugs, and lots of gambling.

Sorry, but Golden Dawn, just like Wicca, is a British invention. There is no way that those two systems could have developed anywhere else in the world.

If you feel differently, please go to the blog of George Washington and leave your comments there; after all, his massive ego can handle the attention of being told that he is absolutely right.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Return of Robert Zink

Secret Chiefs know the shocking truth about levitation.
Catching up on my blog reading (I took a couple of days off to deal with a magical project), I ran across a post called The SHOCKING Truth about Robert Zink and the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn.

Now, if you have been around the blogosphere, especially the Golden Dawn blogs, for longer than a couple of weeks (month at most), you know that the titles,

Amazing Truth
Shocking Truth
Truth Unveiled
Amazing Secret
Astonishing Truth

and all their variations, are someone claiming to be better than someone else (who just happens to be a fraud and a bigger crook than Nixon) and a thinly veiled advertisement for themselves and their Order or amazing product line.

Or maybe that is just the happy little cynic in me that believes this. I really should do a data analysis of this trend to see if I am right or not. Let's presume that I am right.

The post by Robert Zink fell into the regular pattern. The response by the party that he was talking about, David Griffin and his HOGD/AO will also repeat the regular pattern. Which will lead to another post by Zink, followed by another post by Griffin, and the world will keep turning around and around.

A bigger shocking least to the fact that Robert Zink is still around. The long time readers of my blog will remember that just over a year ago there was a big ruckus in the EOGD. Personally, I am not shocked that Zink is still around--I predicted that he was going to still be in the Golden Dawn universe. But some people actually believed that it was truly the end of Robert Zink...and they claimed credit for ending his reign.

But I thought that we would see the return of Robert Zink. It was a happy little cynic prediction.

(Feel free to go read the post about Zink's expulsion last year and grade me on my predictive abilities.)

It seemed to be a safe prediction. Much like predicting that sooner or later, all non HOGD/AO parties will be tarred and feathered as enemies of the physical Third Order. Or that my next blog post will have a picture of a cat complete with a Secret Chief caption. Or that a post claiming to reveal a shocking truth will end with an advertisement for the poster's own and much better secret Order.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Structure of esoteric Order and lodge egregores

Structure of the Egregores of Esoteric Orders & Lodges
One of the things that I am doing this summer, besides cobbling together collections of previously written fiction (such as Shakespeare's Monkey) and hacking out more fiction, is slowly cranking out the material necessary to get the Three Officer Version of the Golden Dawn Neophyte Ritual back in print. As many of you know, at a certain point, Lulu decided to change the rules for the type of cover I had on it, and I suddenly needed to add 46 more pages.

Part of the additional material I am thinking of including is a brief summary of the energetic structure of egregores. Or maybe, it will be a stand-alone article (really short ebook). I haven't decided yet.

Of course, there will be a horde of people saying that I know nothing about the subject, but what else will be new? Oh, the fact that they will point out that I only write about the occult to make money. Sadly, I have yet to figure out how any occult writer actually makes money writing about the occult. Maybe, I am little slow in the head.

Anyway, I thought that perhaps my regular readers would like to see the (oh so bad, gee, I do not know one side of the pencil from the other) illustration I was thinking of using for the material that I am writing on the structure of esoteric egregores. Click on the picture to embiggen it.

Membership is the product

Reading the comment section of another blog, I realized that I did not make a certain point clear in my last blog post. (I was bored, and stuck on a plot point in the science fiction mystery that I am writing...if it matters about why I was surfing the internet and not writing this morning.) I also realized that some people consider everything about them...and a two years ago, it would have been all about someone else that they hated--would someone please pass the "center of the universe" stick to the right because not everything is about what a great gift you are to the universe.

(And seriously, when do I get my turn to hold that sacred stick of importance?!)

Anyway, the point I failed to make clear in my secrecy as a business model post was the fact that it is the membership that is the overpriced product that underlies the accusation that secret societies are nothing more than money making scams for their leaders.

The membership in the secret society is the product.

You do not need to sell anything else to be accused of running a scam. Just collect membership dues and you too can be called a slimy con-artist. Selling unicorn wands, fairy success dust, and thistle poppets just adds fuel to the fuel of the toasty bonfire roasting your reputation, but the collection of membership dues is the match that sets off the blaze in the first place.

And this is not just something that came out of our "all secrets and techniques should be freely given" New Age culture--no, this has been true for three hundred years at least. Don't believe me? Consider this. In 1717, the Freemasons binded together in their first Grand Lodge, so that they could separate the legit members from the false members; it turns out that some pub owners were selling Freemason memberships to their customers along with watered-down ale. Shortly after that, we start to see the first accusations and publication of the Freemasonic rituals and secrets. And there is not a pixie chalice anywhere in sight for sale.

The simple fact that you are collecting membership dues is enourgh to cause someone to scream bloody murder that you are taking advantage of people. This is why all esoteric Orders have been accused of this at one time or another (normally by upset ex-members or their rivals)--in fact, being accused of being a con-artist is almost a badge of honour; it shows that one has grown big enourgh to annoy someone else.

And for the curious, yes, I am going to be running a summer special on fairy success dust (or fairy sh** as I like to call it) and thistle poppets (bumper crop this spring)--everything will be sold at bonfire prices, so get your money ready because Mad Uncle Morgan is selling it all!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Secrecy as a business model

One of the periodic accusations that one hears about the secret societies is that the whole system is a money making system for a few people at the top of the system. The earliest example of this accusation that I have encountered involves Freemasonry (an example of such was given in a previous Quote of the Day post); but I do understand that there is an earlier one about the Rosicrucians (but I am not sure that it is about the RC, as much as alchemists in general). And I have heard this about all existing esoteric Orders--OTO, Golden Dawn, BOTA, AO, AMORC, etc.

If one believes even a fraction of the accusations, one must conclude that all the secret and esoteric societies are nothing more than a scam to make money for their leadership.

And even when there is no one at top to recieve the riches of excess dues and fees, an Order can still be accused of being nothing more than a business opportunity for its membership. For instance, nowadays, you do not hear of the leaders of Freemasonry living off of excess dues, but you hear a lot of people accuse the entire system of being a network of favored contacts which give work and opportunites only to those who are fellow members of the fraternity.

Now, we must admit it happens. I am quite sure that most of my readers can point to an esoteric Order...or two...or six...that can reasonably be accused of such behavior. Part of the problem is the fact that in an esoteric Order that has a single person at top, the chore of running the organization is overwhelming and the person tends to end up neglecting their day job...with the Order often having to pick up the loss of income for the leader's missed opportunities. But unfortunately, this is only part of the problem.

A larger part of the problem is the fact that secrecy can be a key method of turning an esoteric society into a money making system.

For instance, lets look at my favorite tradition---the Golden Dawn. In past posts, I have speculated that the number of people in the Golden Dawn market is about a thousand people (and even if it is not, it is a nice round number to use for this example). If you can convince a thousand people to shell out a $120 a year in dues and fees, you have a pie of $120,000. Now the trick for such a market is to get it all--if you can corner the market, then you can squeeze it for a big paycheck. For instance, with a monopoly, one could keep their operating expenses down to $20 a person. This may seem small, but if you have the entire market cornered, then it is an operating budget of twenty thousand a year. This would leave a hundred thousand annually for the person at the top--it is a nice profit margin.

Of course, in mainstream Golden Dawn, this is impossible. In order to make it work, you would have to prevent anyone else from serving the same community. The more competition there is, the lower the profit margin. In fact, given the amount of information that has been published about Golden Dawn and its offshoots over the years, it is next to impossible to accomplish. Not that it has not stopped people from trying to do so.

(Before anyone thinks that I am talking about them, just remember that everyone points fingers at their enemies with this accusation. You point at me; I point at you--it is all rather childish. And I do know for fact that some Orders which are operating in the red, with the leader picking up the slack, has been accused of this crime. So let's not point fingers unless you have proof in the form of a ledger or two. And if you believe that I am describing your behavior, well, just remember that certain forms of behavior just worries me.)

So let's say you wanted to run an esoteric system as a money making system, how would you go about it? Well, first you need to make sure that you have an absolute monopoly, that you are the sole source of information. Then you want to make sure that no one ever advances far enourgh to threaten that monopoly, and that no one can use your lessons and names and labels without a major court case. At the same time, you want a series of endless lessons to cater for anyone that keeps mailing you their annual dues...without any real tests to prevent them from recieving more lessons.

And then...and here where it becomes about want to go as far towards the absolute secrecy side of the spectrum as you can, giving out only commonly known stuff to whet people's appetites, leaving just hints that the next level is where all the really important stuff is hidden. And the first thing that you make secret? The very fact that you have set up an esoteric Order to be your own personal piggy bank.

The thing that prevents Golden Dawn from being a good esoteric cash cow is simply the fact that way too much of the information is publically available. For a couple of hundred dollars, you can own the backbone of lore and rituals that is the Golden Dawn tradition. To make money off an esoteric system, you need to make sure that you are the only source for the information; and Golden Dawn is definitely not ideal for that goal...not that this fact has not stopped people from trying to do so.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Qod Freemasonry as a fraud and money machine

The following is a biased conclusion drawn from a treasury report of the Keystone Lodge (no. 639) presented in 1870 and used in Ronayne's Hand-Book of Freemasonry (1917) to justify his printing of the Freemasonry rituals. [Please bear in mind that this quote is a set-up for the next post in my secrecy series, and should not be viewed as my opinion of Freemasonry.]

[What becomes of all the Masonic money?]

With regard to this official document [a treasury report], it will be sufficient to remark that it indelibly stamps every single transaction in the organization of Keystone Lodge, No. 639, as a wilful and deliberate steal, from beginning to end. First, every candidate was defrauded in the sum of $64.25, by being charged $65, in all for his three degrees, when the officers and members of that Lodge knew, just as well as they did their own names, that those very same degrees,--word for word, and in better form,--could be purchased of any regular book-seller in the country for 75 cents at most.

Secondly, the money thus fraudulently obtained from "the poor, blind candidate," was in its turn stolen by Moses Shields, their Worshipful Master, and by others, thus very forcibly proving the truth of that old adage--"Ill got, ill gone."

Thirdly, the Grand Lodge of Illinois, for the sum of $75, gave them permission to open their Masonic confidence shop and to sell Masonic so-called secrets to any white man of mature age, who might be foolish enourgh to buy them, thus encouraging and perpetuating the fraud by issuing its charter or warrant, empowering them to work.

In this manner, Freemason Lodges are organized and the money fliched from the poor, selfish, deluded dupes who join them, is disposed of. Every Masonic Lodge in the world is a fraud; the sale of its sham degrees is but obtaining money under false pretenses; and what is worse, the Masons themselves know it. This being the case, then, and desiring to do what I can towards exposing the swindle and the outrageous humbug of these dark gangs of conspiracy, I would earnestly call the reader's attention to [Ronayne's Hand-Book of Freemasonry], as containing the literally correct ritual and work of Freemasonry.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ongoing Bast Temple website problems

As some of you know, Bast Temple has been experiencing some major website issues.

The issues started during the worst part of semester...and considering that this turned out to be the worst semester ever for me, well, I could have just plotzed. Now that the semester is over, and I have two seconds to try to fix the problems, I realize that the problems are going to take some time to fix.

Therefore, for awhile, Bast Temple is not going to have a regular website. Well, we have one, it is just that the problems prevent anyone from actually getting to it...even if they know the exact address of it.

So my temporary solution is to put up a blog for Bast Temple. I figure that way people (eventually after the search engines find it) will still be able to find information about the lodge and be able to contact us if they are interested in Denver membership.

It is time like these that I wish that I belonged to one of the Big Name Orders who could throw money at problems like these.

So if anyone is interested, the new Bast Temple blog is located here (click).

Monday, May 14, 2012

No such thing as secrecy

Besides the two extremes of the secrecy spectrum and the numerous points between the two extremes, there is also a point that is completely off of the spectrum. And that is the position that there is no such thing as "esoteric secrets."

This is not the same as believing that all the secrets can be told because the true esoteric secret lays in the experience and work.

No, this is a belief that all the esoteric secrets are "artificial" and merely exist to control the membership of a secret society. In other words, the esoteric secrets that an initiate is sworn to maintain are merely to conceal the fact that a leader(s) is using the secret society for another purpose...think conspiracy, sex, and money.

Now, one can believe in the esoteric secrets and still think that someone at the top of the pyramid is misusing their membership. Both the believer and the non-believer in esoteric secrets will admit that secrets are wonderful way to keep members in a group. The difference is that the non-believer in esoteric secrets believes that all secrecy is bad while the esoteric believer will argue that perhaps even a mis-ran group can lead to some good if it actually has a few real esoteric secrets in it.

An important question that every member of a secret society has to answer for themselves is: Does the benefit of the esoteric secrets one is given outweigh all the grief that one has to put up with in order to recieve them?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day.
Happy Mother's Day to all the Golden Dawn members who are moms!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Complete absence of secrecy

On the exact opposite side of the secrecy spectrum from the use of absolute and total secrecy is the complete absence of secrecy. This is commonly referred to as the "shout the secrets from the rooftop" school of secrecy.

There have been many occultists who have believed that the only people who can understand the reality behind the secrets that the esoteric traditions guard are those who have done the work of the traditions. In other words, only experience in the esoteric traditions will allow you to be able to understand the truth of the secrets of the traditions.

Because of this belief, the members of this school of thought see no problem with publishing the various parts of the esoteric systems. After all, the only people who will be able to understand the texts are those people who are already inside the traditions themselves.

The exoteric example of this idea is the person who has never driven a car. One can read all the car manuals, Department of Motor Vehicles booklets, racing guides and what not as you like; but to truly understand the experience of driving a car, one must get behind the wheel of a car and actually drive one down the road. Not even a video game can actually convey the actual experience.

Other exoteric example that is often used is how only actual sexual intercourse can enlighten a virgin to the ins and outs of sex.

Based on my personal experiences, I will admit that I see a lot of merit in this school of thought. Nevertheless, I still remain somewhere between the two extremes (absolute secrecy and complete lack of secrecy) for I have discovered that there are some things that you can only accomplish through the use of secrecy--or at least, secrecy seems to be the best tool for certain goals.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Golden Dawn Market Bouncing Member Edition

An example of how different the membership numbers of a forum can be given a different location on the site.
As many of my regular readers know, one of my ongoing quests is to come up with a ballpark figure for the size of the Golden Dawn market. In the past, one of the yardsticks I talked about using is the memberships figures for the various forums, including the ones hosted by Yahoo. And as I have previously mentioned, the membership figures of the various forums have to be taken with a grain of salt, thanks to people having multiple accounts, sock puppets, and the habit of some forum owners to send out lots of invitations to people just barely interested in Golden Dawn to boost their forum membership numbers.

I discovered a new wrinkle and problem with using the Yahoo forum numbers for this task the other day.

I was visiting one of the many forums that I belong to. (Translation--I was avoiding studying for my Chinese Religion and Philosophy exam.) And on the front page of the forum, the little box with the forum information said that the membership was 9696 members. Now, I probably would not have noticed this if someone recently had not been bragging about how large their forum was. Because of that I have became acutely aware of my habit of glancing at the membership numbers of the forums that I a working writer, I am looking out for possible places to advertise my ebooks.

Now, I hop over to the message index. And my eyes wander over to the information box...and I see that the membership numbers are only 5120 according to this page of the forum. That is only 53 percent of what the front page of the forum claimed. In round terms, this means that the front page claims about ten thousand members while the actual number is closer to five thousand.

At first, I thought maybe it was a Yahoo bug. So I went to a few other forums and saw the same pattern; the front page membership number was higher than the number of members that the message index page said. And the front page number matches the number of members that the Yahoo forum search page shows.

I managed to figure out what was causing the difference between the two numbers by going to one of the Yahoo forums that I set up ages ago. Going into the management pages, I realized that the difference had to be the result of bouncing members, those people who had abandoned their email addresses or were having trouble recieving emails from Yahoo. In the case of the forum that I first noticed this on, either they have 4576 members having email problems...or they have close to 4576 members who should not be in my market estimates.

The number of bouncing members is exactly the difference between the two membership figures for the forum.
Looking around, I saw that Robert Zink's old relatively dead forum has 8612 members according to the front page, and 6753 members according to the message index page (78 percent still able to recieve emails). Pat Zalewski and Martin's forum has 1391 members on front page, and 936 members on the message index page (67 percent). [The picture at the start of this post is snapshots of Zink's forum membership numbers.]

What this means business-wise for me as a writer is that I have to remember to dig deeper than just the front pages or the search index results when trying to figure out where to aim my marketing efforts. It also means that when people start bragging about the number of people subscribed to their forum, I have to ask them what page they are looking at to figure out their numbers...because there is a large difference of figures in most of the fourms that I looked at.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spectrum of secrecy

One of the ways to view the entire concept of secrecy is to look at as a spectrum.

On one end, we have the most extreme view of secrecy, where secrecy is absolute and nothing can ever be revealed. And on the other end, the other extreme of secrecy and how it is dealt with is an utter disregard for secrecy.

In between these two points, there are lots of positions and takes on the matter of secrecy. Exactly what position is the correct one is open to least, the matter is open to debate in my opinion.

My own view of secrecy has changed over the years and probably will continue changing with additional experience. My personal position is someplace between the two extremes, and is unlikely to hit either end of the secrecy spectrum.

And no, I do not consider it anyone's business (outside of the membership of my local lodge) which middle position that I view as the current postion.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy birthday Tabitha!

Kitty wishes you a Happy Birthday--feel free to help yourself to the rest of the cake.
Today is Tabitha Cicero's birthday. And my cat had this to say about it--Meow! Meow! Meow! Which I presume means "Happy birthday Tabitha!" and "Try not to get licked by any dogs." I could be wrong about that last part.

Monday, May 7, 2012

777 Book of Correspondences

This is my 777th blog post, so today I chose to talk about (drum roll please)...777.

777 is Aleister Crowley's expanded and modified version of the Golden Dawn document known as The Book of Correspondences. Just like the guide sheet for the creation of Godforms seems to have been restricted to the office of Hierophant, the Book of Correspondence seems to been restricted to the office of Praemonstrator. This is not to say that other members did not know of its existence. Parts of it was spoon-fed to the students of the system in the Knowledge Lectures of the various Grades. By the time that one was an Adept Minor, one had a large part of the Book of Correspondences available to them. Inside the Order, one could assemble the known parts that were circulated among the Knowledge Lectures, and add to it, making a personal copy of the document (much like the members of BOTA end up with a Book of Numbers--think Sepher Sephiroth). Or at least, that is the way I understand the extent of its circulation among the Order.

Crowley was most likely working from Allen Bennett's personal copy. Today, most ceremonial magicians own a copy issued though Weiser. I brought my copy back in September 1994; it is now held together with packing tape. I filled a couple of hardbound journals with some additional material that I mapped to the paths of the Tree of Life.

777 was not the first set of correspondences to be published. Agrippa and several magical calendars predate Crowley's publication, as do some materials focused on astrology. But I will admit that for organization, Crowley is the winner.

In recent times, there have been several books that have expanded the possibilities of information to be included in one's personal copy of the Book of Correspondences. These include The Magician's Companion: A Practical Encyclopdic Guide to Magical & Religious Symbolism (Bill Whitcomb) and The Magician's Tables: A Complete Book of Correspondences (Alan Richardson).

The best expansion of 777 (at this time) is Stephen Skinner's The Complete Magician's Tables. Not all the tables in Skinner's work agree with Crowley's--but that is ok. And I love randomly googling names from his Uniform Timeline.

Needless to say, my favorite version is my own. I think most working magicians and witches would say the same. After all, it is the version that corresponds exactly with the associations that I use in my own personal magical workings.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Most read month ever

I am not even as cool as Morgan Grimes.
One of the hazards of being a blogger is that one cannot help looking at the traffic figures. Well, I suppose that you could prevent yourself from looking at your traffic figures with a couple of rolls of duct tape. And honestly, it is probably one of the worst things you can do--look at your traffic figures that is; duct tape is perfectly acceptable for most household chores (babysitting kids, fixing furniture, getting that annoying neighbor across the street to shut up and stay on their side of the street).

Why is it the worst possible thing you can do (look at your own traffic figures, that is)? Because you can find out that you are less popular than Morgan Grimes. (Sorry, I am busy rewatching the entire Chuck series--I am sorry that it is not Shakepeare or something else readers do not actually come here for educated dialogue, do they?)

Or worse, you can look at your traffic figures and think that you are more popular and successful than Morgan Grimes. (For the one reader who does not know, Morgan Grimes was a supporting character in the TV show Chuck--a show about a Buy More Nerd Herder who downloaded the Intersect, a government data base into his head. Morgan Grimes is, well, a nerd into comic books and science fiction and not terribly cool. I have mentioned the fact that you are not here for intelligent conversation, right?)

Anyway, yes, I forgot to duct tape myself to the other side of the room far away from my computer...and therefore, I looked at my traffic figures for last month. The bad news--I am not even as cool as Morgan Grimes. The good news--last month was my most read month ever.

And this is despite several people deciding that they will never give me any traffic ever again. I am not sure that they realize that I haven't gotten any traffic from them for months...yes, I check my traffic figures on a regular basis. Makes me suspect that my audience is completely different than theirs. (Hmmm, I wonder if they get the smart Shakespeare audience...or maybe they actually get the people that Shakespeare was really writing for...sorry, that is a literature joke--after all, Shakespeare was writing for the commoners in the pit; you know the type of person who actually likes watching bear-baiting and men dressed up pretending to be witches and young maidens.)

So what strange things did I find in my figures? (You didn't want to know--how rude...of one of us...I am guessing it is you, dear reader, who thinks Morgan Grimes is cooler than I am.)

Surprise number one was that both Japan and Brazil made my top ten countries list for readership...I am not sure what I am writing that attracting them.

Surprise number two was that one of the top ten posts last month was about the blogs that I were reading a year ago (and they are not even occult blogs)--I am guessing it has to do with the fact that I mentioned one star Amazon book reviews in that post (but they had nothing to do with those one star Amazon book reviews that erupted last month).

Surprise number three is that one of my Christmas Kitty posts is still getting traffic. (Really? A Xmas post?)

Oh, wait...surprise number four is that my post about not warring against Christmas is also getting hits. (Don't ask me to explain it...I can't.)

I gained a new number two all time most read post last month "What is Griffin trying to accomplish?" It shot up and passed last year's favorite about Robert Zink being expelled from his own Order. Well, shot up and passed it by 123 views. And there is really no chance of it becoming my all time number one post--it would need about sixteen times the number of views to surpass my all time number one post on Understanding Search Engines. And no, I have no real idea what traffic would be like on a Morgan Grimes post, but I am guessing that Morgan Grimes would be more popular. (No?!)

As for my next blog post, well, it will be my 777th post on this blog. I wonder what it could be about. Maybe I will write about Morgan Grimes and how he should have been the star of Chuck.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fire tends to create all the cards

Welcome to this round of the Tarot Blog Hop. Some of you may be coming from Tarot Wyzdom (La Vonne's) Blog. My regular readers, especially those who have been following the color scale posts, may want to check out her blog--there is a post about basic Tarot color theory there.

Today's Tarot Blog Hop topic is "The Fire Tends to All."

One of the things that makes me not fit into the traditional Golden Dawn mold is the fact that I have lifted a whole bunch of stuff from other esoteric traditions and streams of thought. One of the books that I have worked with before embracing Golden Dawn was Mouni Sadhi's book on the Tarot.

Mouni Sadhi at one point talks about how each one of the Tarot cards is rooted in one of the four letters of the Tetragrammaton (Yod Heh Vav Heh [final]). The first Tarot card in the deck would be a Yod card; the second card would belong to Heh; the third card would be assigned to Vav; and the fourth card would be the Heh final, as well as the Yod of the next cycle. The cards would also be given the element associated with the proper letter of the Tetragrammaton (Yod--Fire, Heh--Water, Vav--Air, Heh final--Earth).

Sadhi uses the one of the two well-known French orders for determining the order of the Tarot cards (Magician, High Priestess, Empress, Emperor, etc.). The difference between the two French versions happens at the end, and if you use one of the French orders I do not need to explain the difference between the two versions.

Now, where I prove to be a member of the lunatic Golden Dawn is the fact that I use his scheme of Tetragrammaton allotment with the order of the Tarot cards as set forth in the Golden Dawn Cipher Manuscript and associated lectures. So my sequence starts with the Fool card, instead of the Magician.

Hence, Fool--Yod (Fire), Magician Heh--(Water), High Priestess--Vav (Air), and Empress--Heh final (Earth) and Yod of the next sequence.

For me, going through the Tarot sequence with this additional information provides further insight into the Tarot Cards. Take for instance, the Magician card. Many people presume that the Magician is an active card. Yet in reality, the Magician is not the creator of forces; the Magician merely channels forces and redirects them.

I encourage my readers to sit down sometimes and use the Tetragrammaton sequence with their preferred method of arranging the Tarot cards and see what insights the method produces.

(For the reader who missed the connection, Fire Tends to All related in the back of my mind to the fact that the Yod cards create the other three cards [conditions] in the Tetragrammaton/Tarot sequence.)

For those of you who are continuing with the Tarot Blog Hop, the next blog is by Louise Underhill, Priestess Tarot. 

If there are any broken links in the chain, you can find the master list for the Beltaine Tarot Blog Hop here.