Thursday, March 22, 2018

Office of the Readings for 2018

There has been some discussion online (again) this year about how it is "problematic" that there are people (I've apparently never met) who think celebrating the Holy Days in this way comes from Aleister Crowley himself or is in some sense "canonical" to Thelema. To be clear, neither of those statements are true. The arrangement here comes from various modern sources - James Eshelman's Thelemic Tefila, the late Soror Marfiza and the Companions of Monsalvat, and myself and my magical partner Soror Lalitha. Still, having performed this series for many years, we find that it is a great way to better acquaint yourself with the Holy Books and celebrate the Thelemic New Year.

Happy Thelemic New Year, everyone! It's that time again, for the Office of the Readings.

The Thelemic dates that you may see written online are arrived at by counting the number of 22-year cycles since 1904 to obtain the upper case Roman numeral, and then counting the years of the current cycle to get the lower case one. Within each 22-year cycle, many Thelemites ascribe the Major Arcana trumps of the Tarot to the years in order starting with The Fool and ending with The Universe. So the year that we're about to enter into is V:iv, attributed to either The Emperor or The Star depending on whether or not you swap the Tarot attributions for Heh and Tzaddi.

This post will remain the top article here for the duration of the Thelemic Holy Days from March 20th to April 10th. The Rite of the Office of the Readings is performed for all of the readings beginning on March 20th.

This year I'm pleased to announce that like last year, this year's Office of the Readings will be presented at Leaping Laughter Oasis, the Minneapolis local body of Ordo Templi Orientis. This year we will be performing the Invocation of Horus on the evening of March 18th to keep it on the weekend, and the Prologue of the Unborn on the 19th will be followed by the New Moon Ritual for Pisces.


The Invocation of Horus
The Rite of the Office of the Readings


March 19

Liber VII, Prologue of the Unborn.

March 20 - Saturn/Earth, The Universe

Liber LXV, Cap I.
Liber VII, Cap II.

March 21 - Fire/Spirit, The Aeon

Liber LXV, Cap IV.
From "The Four Zoas" by William Blake - "Night the Ninth, Being The Last Judgment"

March 22 - Sol, The Sun

Liber VII, Cap IV.
From "A Mithraic Ritual" Translated by GRS Mead.

March 23 - Pisces, The Moon

Liber VII, Cap VI.
From “Dark Night of the Soul”, Book II, Cap 8 by San Juan de la Cruz.

March 24 - Aries, The Emperor

Liber Tzaddi vel Hamus Hermeticus.
From the “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu, Cap 37 and 39.

March 25 - Mars, The Tower

Liber VII, Cap I.
From Liber CDXVIII, The 16th Æthyr.

March 26 - Capricornus, The Devil

Liber A'ash.
Relevant to Liber A'ash is my solution to the mystery of the duck.
From Liber CXI, Cap 174-175.

March 27 - Sagittarius, Art

From “The Vision of the Universal Mercury” by G.H. Frater S.R.M.D.

March 28 - Scorpio, Death

From Liber Arcanorum.
From Liber CXI, Cap 192-194.

March 29 - Water, The Hanged Man

Liber LXV, Cap III.
"I. N. R. I." by Frater Achad.

March 30 - Libra, Adjustment

Liber Libræ.
Selections from “The Spiritual Guide” by San Miguel de Molinos.

March 31 - Jupiter, Fortune

Liber VII, Cap III.
From Liber CDXVIII, The 20th Æthyr.

April 1 - Virgo, The Hermit

Liber VII, Cap V.
"The Emerald Tablet of Hermes" by Hermes Trismegistus.

April 2 - Leo, Lust

Liber Stellae Rubeæ.
From “The Daughter of Fortitude” Received by Edward Kelly.

April 3 - Cancer, The Chariot

Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni.
"Maha Prajnaparamita Hridaya Sutra" (The Heart Sutra, Buddhist text. Translation by the Kuan Um School of Zen).

April 4 - Gemini, The Lovers

Liber LXV, Cap II.
From Liber DCCCXXXVII, The Law of Liberty.

April 5 - Taurus, The Hierophant

Liber LXV, Cap V.
From “On Christ and Antichrist” by Hippolytus, Cap 2.

April 6 - Aquarius, The Star

From “The Thunder, Perfect Mind” (Gnostic text).

April 7 - Venus, The Empress

Liber VII, Cap VII.
From Liber CDXVIII, The 7th Æthyr.

April 8 - Luna, The Priestess

Liber AL, Cap I.
“Vajrasattva, Primordial Buddha of Diamond or Rainbow Light” From Songs and Meditations of the Tibetan Dhyani Buddhas.

April 9 - Mercury, The Magus

Liber AL, Cap II.
“Visvapani, The Bodhisattva and Spiritual Emanation of Amoghasiddhi” From Songs and Meditations of the Tibetan Dhyani Buddhas.

April 10 - Air, The Fool

Liber AL, Cap III.
From Liber CDXVIII, The 22nd Æthyr.

If you would like to perform this series and have questions, feel free to e-mail me here. All Office of the Readings posts may be viewed here. Our Office of the Readings series is based on this ritual series by the Companions of Monsalvat.

Can't Evil Just Get Along?

It truly is hilarious to watch right-wing extremists eat their own. According to this story from The Daily Beast, the White Nationalist movement is working to cut ties with an extremist group called Atomwaffen Division. But it has nothing to do with the group being neo-Nazis, or being violent, or anything like that. The problem is that Atomwaffen Division is associated with a satanic group called the Order of Nine Angles. So they're still evil, but they're the wrong kind of evil.

White nationalists are disavowing the murderous neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division—not because of the murder, but because the group can’t shake persistent rumors that it’s a gateway organization for a satanic cult.

Atomwaffen is an extremist group that received national attention after being implicated in five murders from May 2017 to January 2018. But even before the most recent slaying, Atomwaffen was under fire from others on the far right who claimed the group was actually a mouthpiece for the Order of Nine Angles, a satanic group that encourages members to infiltrate extremist political movements, whose members might be susceptible to conversion.

It doesn’t help that, until recently, Atomwaffen pushed the satanic group’s literature on one of its websites. Atomwaffen claims to have been founded in 2013, although its membership surged after a deadly white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, ProPublica previously reported. The group now has approximately 20 cells across the U.S., according to ProPublica. “The satanist group requires members to spend six months either hitchhiking, working as a burglar, working as a police officer, or infiltrating an extremist political group—a group like Atomwaffen.”

The Order of Nine Angles is British-based, but steeped in Nazism. A fringe occultist group whose literature encourages human sacrifices, the ONA champions Nazi Germany and pushes Holocaust denialism. One of the group’s longest-running leaders, Anton Long, is rumored to have been a pseudonym for the known neo-Nazi David Myatt.

And I just have to laugh. I supposed that ONA can be proud that it's being shunned as "too evil" by other Nazis. I also find it amusing, in a darkly humorous sort of way, that being a murderous terrorist group with cells and everything isn't a dealbreaker, but if you mention anything about Satan - well, there's the door. My guess is that it has something to do with Christian White Nationalists getting spooked by anything having to do with the devil, but failing to comprehend that whether or not they're any better remains an open question.

This reminds me of comic book super-villains who try to team up, but find themselves at each other's throats practically right away. Let's hope this trend continues. If it does, the resulting discord might just tear the entire movement apart.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Dave Chappelle's Illuminati Clone

Is this guy the coolest Illuminati clone ever, or what?

Scott Adams of Dilbert fame once published a list of all the reasons that "you are dumb." One of those was something to the effect of "reaching bizarre conclusion with no actual evidence," and as an example he gave "My car won't start. I'm certain that the spark plugs have been stolen by rogue clowns." Today's story isn't exactly that, but it's close. It concerns comedian Dave Chappelle, who according to an unnamed "cousin" was murdered and replaced with a clone (a fully-grown, adult one, mind you) by the Illuminati. No, really!

According to his cousin who does not wish to be named, it was not long after the Oprah interview that Dave Chappelle was killed and cloned. The way they did it was by luring him back into the Hollywood executive office, back to the round table of exec types who push the Hollywood agenda, by offering him his show back, with full creative license to Dave. Sounds too good to be true, but Dave fell for it. It was his love for the show that did him in.

His cousin warned him, “don’t do it, it’s a trap.” But Dave wanted to believe. Dave promised his cousin that he would call her right after the meeting with the executives. She never received and still has not received that phone call. She tried calling his cell shortly after the meeting. Someone else picked up, a stranger’s voice, who told her that Dave was not there and hung up. She tried again and the phone became disconnected.

She believes the Illuminati took Dave to an underground base where they sampled his DNA and murdered him. Then through the use of something called organic robotoid cloning, they grew a new Dave in a matter of hours. Now with clones, they are going to look similar but not exact. They had this problem before where family members recognize that the person coming home to them is not their loved one. Oddly enough, Putin’s ex-wife testified about this same thing, a few years back. Since they knew Dave’s wife and kids would not be fooled by the clone Dave, they killed and cloned them as well.

Serious question. It is accepted as a given by Illuminati conspiracy theorists that the Illuminati have access to the technology that the CIA developed under the MK-Ultra program, and the technology works. So tell me why it makes any sense to invest what you would have to invest to develop a means of cloning human beings as adults. Nodody has ever cloned an animal as an adult successfully. Human beings may have been cloned illicitly by groups like the Raelians, even though most experts think they made those claims up, but unlike in comic books any such clone starts out as a baby and has to grow up the normal way.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Rothschilds Did It!

I often wonder why critical thinking skills are so poor these days. But maybe they always were, and thanks to the magic of the Internet we're just seeing more examples. It used to be that if a lawmaker said something stupid and/or prejudiced, it might get reported in their district and/or be seized on by an opponent. Nowadays, the world sees everything, and that brings us to Trayvon White Sr., a member of the Washington D.C. city council. During the latest D.C. snowstorm, White blamed the bad weather on "the Rothschilds controlling the climate." Seriously! White later apologized for his remarks, but the damage was done.

D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) posted the video to his official Facebook page at 7:21 a.m. as snow flurries were hitting the nation’s capital. The video, shot through the windshield of a car driving west on Interstate 695 through downtown Washington, shows snowy skies while White narrates.

“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” he says. “And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”

The Rothschilds are a famous European business dynasty descended from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, an 18th-century Jewish banker who lived in what is today Frankfurt, Germany. The family has repeatedly been subject over the years to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories alleging that they and other Jews clandestinely manipulate world events for their advantage.

One of the easiest ways to identify somebody who is an anti-semite is to look for references to how "the Rothschilds" control finance, business, trade - or for that matter the weather. They don't. Today we have a whole new set of rich douchebags running the show.

The reason people keep coming to back to this is that in 1903 when the anti-semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion hoax was published, the Rothschild banking family was much richer and more powerful than their descendants are today. In the nineteenth century, the Rothschilds were bankers to the great colonial powers of continental Europe and the British Empire. But in the twentieth century, the fall of colonialism and two world wars rendered them far less significant. At the same time, America's rich natural resources were exploited to create families with more wealth than the Rothschild banking families had ever seen, like the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Morgans, and so forth.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Workplace Voodoo Dolls

This week's magick post was The Office of the Readings, but I had to put it up on Sunday rather than today because we were doing the Invocation of Horus last night and I was announcing it as part of the post. So this is kind of a weird news post in that it is weird and I found it in the news. Still, I have some real magick thrown in at the end.

A recent study has found that voodoo dolls can have a positive effect on workplace morale. In particular, employees who took out their feelings of anger regarding abusive treatment by their supervisors felt less resentful about their work and performed better on cognitive tests. In particular, their feelings of injustice resulting from the situation in question were reduced.

Some 229 employees who participated in a recent study were asked to think of a workplace interaction that involved "abuse" from a supervisor or boss. As part of the study, some were then allowed to take out their job frustrations on a makeshift voodoo doll carrying their boss's name by sticking pins, burning it with candles and pinching it with pliers. OK . . . now I'm starting to get a little nervous.

The theory is that people (i.e. employees) who feel wronged sometimes wish they could lash out at their abuser (i.e. their boss . . . now just hold on a minute!). The study wanted to prove that giving employees the opportunity to take this anger out on an inanimate object is therapeutic for them - and potentially less painful for employers like me.

And you know what? It worked. A third of the study's participants reported "lower feelings of injustice" and said they were "far less likely to still feel bitter" about their supervisor. Not only that but they performed better on cognitive tests as well.

So let me just get this straight. There is a real study out there that shows employees can be made more productive by giving them a voodoo doll of their boss to abuse. That means employees can make a legitimate argument for bringing a magical implement into the workplace with official sanction from their employer. Sure, it's "harmless," but only so long as the doll remains magically inert and unlinked from any target.

This is interesting from a psychological standpoint because most studies find that "venting" or acting out anger is entire unproductive. It makes feelings of anger worse, not better, and makes the person more likely to act out in the past. The idea that anger is an "energy" that has to be "released" is one more piece of psychoanalytic twaddle that has infected our culture, but which has no scientific basis whatsoever.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Consciousness Truthers

Could anything possibly be dumber than denying the existence of something that you directly experience every single day? I honestly sat here for a bit and gave it some thought, and you know what? I can't come up with anything. But there really are such folks as "consciousness deniers." That is, people who contend that your subjective sense of awareness doesn't really exist. I suppose you can define a world in which "real" and "objective" are synonyms, and since consciousness is by definition subjective it must be unreal, but that's really quite silly.

As the late Stephen Hawking demonstrated in his work on black holes, particles aren't even "objective" in the philosophical sense because their nature is not constant across all possible frames of reference. So that sets up a world in which nothing at all is "real" - and so, in another sense, everything might as well be. The particles making up a baseball bat may not be entirely objective, but they're real enough to hit you in the face. Likewise, your consciousness is real enough to be aware that getting hit in the face with that baseball bat hurts.

The Denial began in the twentieth century and continues today in a few pockets of philosophy and psychology and, now, information technology. It had two main causes: the rise of the behaviorist approach in psychology, and the naturalistic approach in philosophy. These were good things in their way, but they spiraled out of control and gave birth to the Great Silliness. I want to consider these main causes first, and then say something rather gloomy about a third, deeper, darker cause. But before that, I need to comment on what is being denied—consciousness, conscious experience, experience for short.

What is it? Anyone who has ever seen or heard or smelled anything knows what it is; anyone who has ever been in pain, or felt hungry or hot or cold or remorseful, dismayed, uncertain, or sleepy, or has suddenly remembered a missed appointment. All these things involve what are sometimes called “qualia”—that is to say, different types or qualities of conscious experience. What I am calling the Denial is the denial that anyone has ever really had any of these experiences. Perhaps it’s not surprising that most Deniers deny that they’re Deniers. “Of course, we agree that consciousness or experience exists,” they say—but when they say this they mean something that specifically excludes qualia.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Oregon Judge Suspended

Fundamentalist Christians really have a hard time living with the rest of us. I suppose it's no surprise that they work so hard to build their own completely isolated communities in which nothing but explicitly Christian things are ever allowed to intrude. Patheos reported on Thursday that much like what happened to Roy Moore in Alabama, a conservative Christian judge in Oregon has been suspended for refusing to follow the law and perform (civil, it should be noted) same-sex marriages.

Judge Vance Day, the former chair of Oregon’s Republican Party and a conservative Christian who claims his religious beliefs don’t allow him to marry same-sex couples, has been suspended for three years without pay by the Oregon Supreme Court for his refusal to marry same-sex couples. Pacific Northwest News reports:

"The Oregon Supreme Court on Thursday took the unusual step of suspending a sitting state court judge — Vance Day of Salem — for three years. The high court found that Day, first appointed in 2011 to the bench in Marion County Circuit Court, committed 'willful misconduct' and made 'willful misstatements' to investigators to cover up the truth. Day acted with prejudice against same-sex couples by deciding he wouldn’t marry them and he instructed his staff to employ a scheme to avoid “public detection” of his plan, the Supreme Court said."

Previously, the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability issued a scathing report urging the state Supreme Court to remove Judge Vance Day from the bench. The 48-page report details what it described as a long list of ethical and even criminal missteps it found Day committed. Among the most egregious was the commission’s finding that Day refused to marry same-sex couples and told his office staff to lie about why.

The absolutely most confusing thing about all these stories to me is that we're not talking about religious marriage. We're talking about civil marriage. Nobody is out there forcing churches that don't approve of same-sex marriage to perform ceremonies - and let me tell you, if the government ever started doing anything like that, they'd get a lot of flack from even progressive me.

I suppose it has to do with the belief held by some conservative Christians (the poor oppressed variety, naturally) that there really is no separation of church and state in the Constitution, but that belief is just wrong. A conservative Christian judge who lets a same-sex couple sign a piece of paper meaning they're married in the eyes of the state is not committing a sin. Presumably, to his or her church the marriage is just invalid.

So this is absolutely the right thing for the state of Oregon to be doing. Day can't force everybody else to follow his religion - that's expressly prohibited by constitutional law. If he can't do his job because of his beliefs that's his choice, but he doesn't have a right to keep the job when he is unwilling to fulfill its required duties.