Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Secular Ritual Design?

Add a third box for "Consciousness/Probability Shift" and they'd be on to something

I recently came across this article from The Atlantic discussing the idea of "secular rituals design." On the one hand, it seems to me that some of the ideas being bandied about by this group might be useful for designing better and more efficient magical rituals, but on the other, from the contents of the article it sounds like these folks are entirely missing the point.

At the Ritual Design Lab in Silicon Valley, a small team of “interaction designers” is working to generate new rituals for modern life, with an eye to user experience. Created by Kursat Ozenc and Margaret Hagan, the lab crafts rituals for both individuals and organizations, including big hitters like Microsoft. The team’s website offers a Ritual Design Hotline with a tantalizing promise: “You tell us your problem. We will make you a ritual.” Meanwhile, its Ritual Inventory invites you to add any interesting ritual you’ve made or seen to its growing database. And its app, IdeaPop, helps you brainstorm and create your own rituals.

This is an interesting concept, but at the same time what's missing is a way of evaluating how these rituals work. That is, the point of a ritual is to transform some aspect of yourself or your environment that you are unable to transform by any other means. A good ritual has macrocosmic resonance, and should shift probability in your favor in such a way that it at least has the potential to fix the problem. The "user experience" idea, while useful in terms of ease and efficiency, is meaningless without an eye towards the change that the ritual is intended to produce.

Ritual Design Lab has its roots in Stanford’s Institute of Design, where Ozenc and Hagan both teach. In 2015, they proposed a new course on ritual design. To their surprise, more than 100 students signed up. Most were secular. “The interest was huge—so we thought, we should harness this interest,” Ozenc told me. “The new generation, they want bite-size spirituality instead of a whole menu of courses. Design thinking can offer this, because the whole premise of design is human-centeredness. It can help people shape their spirituality based on their needs. Institutionalized religions somehow forget this—that at the center of any religion should be the person.”

This is the kind of approach that could be useful from the standpoint of designing better spells and so forth. Also, the critique of institutionalized religion is accurate and well-placed. However, the whole point of (effective) religion is to (A) produce the experience of Gnosis or metanoia or enlightenment or whatever you want to call it and (B) employ spiritual forces to shape your external circumstances. I don't see any evidence of either in what the design lab is putting together. Which is a shame.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Via Solis Taurus Elixir Rite - Year Two

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Taurus Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday May 15th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. We will continue the momentum of last year by performing one of these per month for each of the twelve signs. I will be posting the full scripts here on the preceding Mondays so people can take a look at them if they want to attend. Also, if you are in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) and would like to attend, let me or someone at the lodge know. This is a public ritual and all are welcome.

0. The Temple

The ritual space is set up with an altar table in the center. The bell chime, banishing dagger, and invoking wand are placed on the altar. In the center of the altar is placed a cup of wine for creating the elixir, within the Table of Art corresponding to Taurus. The power attributed to Taurus is "the secret of physical strength," so if you have a specific intent, something related to health, healing, vitality, and so forth would be appropriate. This ritual may be performed with one, two, or three officers, who may alternate taking the Officiant role and divide up the reading from Liber 963.

I. Opening

All stand surrounding the altar. Officiant inhales fully, placing the banishing dagger at his or her lips. The air is then expelled as the dagger is swept backwards.

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

Officiant then performs the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. All rotate accordingly.

Officiant: We take refuge in Nuit, the blue-lidded daughter of sunset, the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night sky, as we issue the call to the awakened nature of all beings, for every man and every woman is a star.

All: MAKAShANaH

Officiant: We take refuge in Hadit, the secret flame that burns in every heart of man and in the core of every star, as we issue the call to our own awakened natures, arousing the coiled serpent about to spring.

All: ABRAHADABRA

Officiant: We take refuge in Heru-Ra-Ha, who wields the wand of double power, the wand of the force of Coph Nia, but whose left hand is empty for he has crushed an universe and naught remains, as we unite our awakened natures with those of all beings everywhere and everywhen, dissolving all obstacles and healing all suffering.

All: AUMGN

Officiant: For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

All: All is pure and present are and has always been so, for existence is pure joy; all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass and done; but there is that which remains. To this realization we commit ourselves – pure and total presence. So mote it be.


Bell Chime

Saturday, May 12, 2018

But Officer, the Horse is Sober!

I think I've heard this joke before. A young Amish man was recently arrested for drunk driving - in a horse and buggy. The man was found to have a blood alcohol level one and a half times the legal limit, and told the officer that he had consumed ten beers. The horse, on the other hand, was apparently not intoxicated in any way.

A young Amish man was arrested last month in Ohio after he was caught blowing through a stop sign in a horse-drawn buggy, and later admitted to drinking 10 beers -- in an incident caught on police dashcam video.

The Geauga County Sheriff's Office told FOX8 a deputy was concerned about the possibility of a runaway horse, or a driver having a medical emergency, and followed the buggy until the driver pulled into a farm about 50 miles east of Cleveland on April 29.

Inside the buggy, the deputy found a 21-year-old Amish man and a 20-year-old woman, noted a "heavy odor of alcoholic beverages," and spotted an open beer can on the floor, according to FOX8. The driver told the deputy he had consumed 10 beers.

In the dashcam video, the 21-year-old man can be seen attempting to complete a field sobriety test but he appears unable to keep his balance. When the man was unable to pass any of the tests, he was arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence, police told FOX8.

While I'm sure it's not at all funny to the man being charged, it does raise kind of an amusing question. Does it mean anything that the horse was sober? Or that a horse and buggy is far less likely to injure anyone than a car, even if the driver is drunk? I imagine this will all come up at trial, and we'll have to see how it plays out. Meanwhile, it always is fun to see a bad joke happen in real life.

Friday, May 11, 2018

No Secret Chambers After All

In some bummer news from the world of archaeology, a new ground-penetrating radar study have found no evidence of additional secret chambers in the tomb of Tutankhamun. Back in 2015 a survey of the tomb detected anomalies behind two of the tomb's walls. This led archaeologists to speculate that the secret chambers might be part of the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, which has never been found. However, a follow-up study was unable to replicate the results, so a more comprehensive survey of the tomb went forward.

Using ground-penetrating radar, three independent teams of researchers failed to detect the presence of doors or empty spaces behind the walls of King Tut’s funeral chamber. It’s a disappointing result, as archaeologists were hoping to find the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti.

“We conclude, with a very high level of confidence, that the hypothesis concerning the existence of hidden chambers adjacent [to] Tutankhamun’s tomb is not supported by the [ground-penetrating radar] data,” stated Franco Porcelli of the Polytechnic University of Turin, the lead investigator, in his final report. Porcelli and his colleagues disclosed their findings on Sunday May 6 at the fourth annual International Tutankhamun GEM Conference, which was held at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Giza, as reported by National Geographic.

It’s an unhappy result, but such is science. The discovery — if it can be called that — discredits a theory proposed by Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves stating that Queen Nefertiti’s tomb is located behind the walls of King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber. The theory was given added credence in 2015 when radar specialist Hirokatsu Watanabe detected signs of apparent hidden doors behind the north and west walls of the 3,300-year-old burial chamber. A subsequent scan performed by engineers with the National Geographic Society could not replicate Watanabe’s results, prompting a “tie breaker” investigation.

To be clear here, a negative result is still a result, because often in science disproving something can be as important as demonstrating it. It would have been pretty amazing if Nefertiti's tomb were found adjacent to Tutankhamun's simply because it would probably mean that the tomb would be found undisturbed. Tutankhamun was a minor Pharaoh, but he is so famous and vitally important to modern Egyptology because his was the only tomb ever to be discovered intact. Grave robbers had hit all of the others.

A second undisturbed tomb would provide important perspective on Egyptian funeral customs and the kinds of goods likely to be buried with their dead, and the tomb of Nefertiti must lie somewhere. But this result means that the odds of it being found ransacked are much higher.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Down With Scorpio Spam

Recently the Reddit astrology forum posed an important question - are Scorpios responsible for more than their share of Internet trolling? At least a handful of people on the forum think so. While it may seem ridiculous at first, it is true that birth season does affect brain development in certain ways. There has been little research on how this might increase online trolling, but there also are no studies to rule it out. Anyway, I'm a Taurus, the opposite Sun sign - I'm already predisposed to find Scorpios kind of a pain in the butt, right?

Twitter user @colleentie recently drew attention to a screenshot of a Reddit post arguing, essentially, that Scorpios, aka those with birthdays from Oct. 23 through Nov. 21, are out of control online. In a post titled, “MODS: Please start banning Scorpio spam,” the poster complains that members of the sign are responsible for a disproportionate amount of garbage posts on the subreddit, and must be stopped. The thread goes on, “I’ve used this subreddit for 3-4 years now, and in all of that time, one of the constants here, has been a continual flood of attention seeking threads, written by Scorpio natives. No other sign’s natives do it to anywhere near the same extent, and I and several other people here are getting utterly sick of it.” Not everyone agrees with the assertion that Scorpios have hijacked the board—apparently there’s some indication that the spam may be part of a larger rash of obnoxious sun-sign threads.

While the thread only got a moderate amount of attention and responses, the idea that a Reddit community about astrology could more or less ban one of the 12 astrological signs from participation on account of insufferable behavior is too delicious not to contemplate further. Yes, there exists a species of online troll whose venue of choice is an astrology board, and today we learned that troll is a Scorpio. Maybe it was written in the stars all along—if one sign was going to get banned from the zodiac, it would be Scorpios, wouldn’t it? According to the cosmic authority that is Astrostyle.com, Scorpios are “a little bit TOO intense at times” and “can be protective and magnetic but also secretive, possessive and vengeful,” which happen to be the exact characteristics of people bound to create drama online. So sorry, Scorpio trolls of Reddit: Apparently, you’re in retrograde.

To be clear, I do have a few Scorpio friends and I don't find any of them a pain in the butt. If I did, they would no longer be friends and that would resolve the issue right there. There is some kind of tongue-in-cheek banter among astrologers in general, though, that Scorpios are more likely to be over-dramatic than natives of other signs. In my experience, Scorpios tend to get really excited about projects at the beginning and do a bunch of work but then lose interest and disappear. Or maybe that's a function of the particular people and more of a coincidence than a trend. It's hard to say.

At any rate, this might be a new avenue for research regarding astrology and its reliability. If we could show that Scorpios are more likely to be trolls, that's a positive correlation that would have to be explained. And maybe that would lead us to a better understanding of whether or not astrological forces shape our lives and how those forces work. Either that, or it would just feed the trolls some more.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Aibo Funerals

The Aibo, an early commercial robot developed by the Sony corporation, was the one of the first truly robotic pets. The device, fashioned to look like a small artificial dog, could follow basic voice commands and engage in fairly complex activities. In 2014 Sony terminated support for the robots, and over time they began to break and stop working. A Buddhist temple in Japan is now conducting funerals for broken Aibos that can no longer be repaired. If funerals are really for the living, this makes more sense than it seems to at first.

The firm stopped repairing malfunctioning Aibos in 2014, leaving owners whose pets were beyond repair unsure of how to dispose of their companions. Kofukuji, a 450-year-old temple in Isumi, near Tokyo, has conducted services for 800 “dead” Aibo dogs in recent years. In January, Sony released an upgraded version of Aibo that uses AI and internet connectivity to interact with its owner and surroundings. But the consumer electronics giant has resisted pressure from owners of the original Aibo to resume repairs of old models.

Instead, owners of defunct robotic dogs can send them to A Fun, a company that repairs vintage products, which passes them on to Kofukuji. After the service — which does not involve burial or cremation — the firm removes parts that can be used to fix less seriously damaged models. Many of the dogs are accompanied by notes written by their former owners. “I feel relieved to know there will be a prayer for my Aibo,” one said. Another wrote: “Please help other Aibos. My eyes filled with tears when I decided to say goodbye.”

Bungen Oi, one of the temple’s priests, said he did not see anything wrong with giving four-legged friends, albeit of the robotic variety, a proper send-off. “All things have a bit of soul,” he said.

The Aibo is basically a computer connected to some sensors and motors, so it's no more alive than a PC workstation. However, it also is true that the Aibo offered a totally new experience to its owners when it came out in 1999. You could interact with it just like you could with an animal and it would respond in a seemingly organic fashion. Even though this was all done with software and algorithms that are primitive compared to what computers can do today, it's easy to see how owners could become attached to their digital companions.

Some people out there probably see this as a move towards recognizing machines as having "souls" or something silly like that. While I think it's true that consciousness is a property of quantum information and quantum information is a property of matter, the Aibo has no more of this sort of consciousness than a modern smartphone does. And after all, it's not like we're holding funerals for dead iPhones. This is more about recognizing that humans easily become attached to machines that act as if they are alive.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Regarding Macrocosmic Resonance

So I admit it, I'm cheating a little here and backdating this post to Monday. With this new consulting assignment and trying to be more proactive posting on my author blog, I still have not been as timely about this as I could be. Still, this is a good point that I haven't seen covered much lately. It was all the rage on magick forums back in the 1990's when chaos magick was the hip new thing.

This post is in response to a question that comes up every so often in the occult world. People who don't know much about magick often ask why we work with the spirits that we do, rather than more accessible figures like pop culture icons. Back in the day, chaos magicians proposed that you might be able to get better results by conjuring characters like superheroes instead of names from old grimoires. The logic was this - chaos magick proposed that since belief was the source of all magical power, millions of children around the world believing in superheroes was a whole lot of power.

Various experiments conducted on Internet magick forums back in the late 1990's showed that this idea was probably wrong. Rituals involving pop culture entities like superheroes failed to produce anything resembling what can be done with entities like grimoire spirits. The reason for this is so simple that for a long time, a lot of modern magicians missed it. Spirits are entities with their own independent macrocosmic existence, which fictional characters entirely lack.

The first problem with this idea is that belief is not the source of magical power. Peter Carroll's observations along those lines can be better explained by treating doubt as a force that inhibits magick. It is true that if you have no confidence in what you are doing and doubt that it will work your magick generally won't be effective, but that has more to do with doubt undermining the coherence of your thoughts. Because magick generally requires single-pointed concentration, if your mind is divided it is very difficult to induce the right state of consciousness to connect with paranormal forces.

The second problem is the idea that people do magick all the time, they just aren't aware of it. Maybe this is true using Aleiser Crowley's broadest definition of the term - the science and art of causing change in conformity with will - but even then, the term "will" still implies deliberate intent. And if you extend this to mean that people are setting in motion paranormal forces all the time without realizing it, you're just wrong. A child watching a superhero cartoon is not working magick, and is not sending any sort of paranormal energy to the characters depicted on screen.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Why Do They Do This?

The classic example of a limit to free speech is yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. After what happened recently at a theater in Redlands, California, constitutional lawyers might want to add proselytizing to that list as well. Preacher Michael Webber interrupted a screening of the new film Avengers: Infinity War when he stood up and started yelling about God and salvation. The moviegoers freaked out and stampeded to the exits, during which two of the fleeing patrons were injured.

Police were called, fearing a gunman in the theater because the preacher stood and shouted, “If you die tonight, would your passage to heaven be guaranteed?” The preacher’s shouting caused a panic inside of the packed movie theater which had people running for their lives, one witness described the scene: “That’s when the kind of chaos happened in the little exit, where people were jumping over the railings, and kind of falling over, twisting their ankles and hitting their head.”

Two people were seriously injured in the chaos created by the Christian terrorist. One woman was trampled after jumping over a railing and falling 20 feet attempting to get away from what she thought was a gunman about to open fire on the theatergoers. So far, Webber has been charged with a misdemeanor, and he claims that he has “preached” in theaters before without incident. He excuses his behavior by saying he “was unarmed.”

To be fair, I don't know that this rises to the level of "terrorism" because I never attribute to malice what can adequately explained by stupidity. But seeing as there have been mass shootings at movie screenings, it's pretty damn stupid. What did this guy expect would happen? People weren't just going to sit there for some sort of impromptu spiritual revival. Of course they were going to make a run for exits en masse. He's actually pretty lucky that only two people were hurt and nobody was killed. Human stampedes like this can all too easily turn deadly, and it would have been entirely his fault.

I realize that Christians are supposed to "spread the good news," but I sure don't think that this is what it looks like. If Christians feel oppressed by the general culture, it's often because they get pushback when they refuse to leave people with beliefs that differ from theirs alone. Nobody who belongs to a minority religion cares that you're Christian. We don't even care if you're what we consider a flat-out crazy Christian - as long as you don't try to convert us or work to impose laws that limit our rights to believe and practice as we see fit.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Digitizing the Vatican Secret Archives

The Vatican Secret Archives comprise a collection of materials sought after by church historians and conspiracy theorists alike. According to rumors going back centuries, whenever the Roman Catholic Church came upon a grimoire or any other text related to magick they didn't destroy it, but rather sent it to Rome. It would then be housed in the secret archives where the church could authorize whoever they wanted to access it, but keep it away from everyone else. This has been true in at least a couple of cases - the text that went into the Heptangle edition of the Nigromancia was apparently found there, according to the book's introduction.

A new effort underway to digitize the secret archives is going to test that theory, and if we're lucky provide grimoire magicians with a whole new set of texts that have been locked away for centuries. Since most of the documents stored in the archive are handwritten rather than printed, up until now this has proved to be a very difficult process. But this latest effort is employing machine learning in a novel way to get around some of those limitations.

The grandeur is obvious. Located within the Vatican’s walls, next door to the Apostolic Library and just north of the Sistine Chapel, the VSA houses 53 linear miles of shelving dating back more than 12 centuries. It includes gems like the papal bull that excommunicated Martin Luther and the pleas for help that Mary Queen of Scots sent to Pope Sixtus V before her execution. In size and scope, the collection is almost peerless.

That said, the VSA isn’t much use to modern scholars, because it’s so inaccessible. Of those 53 miles, just a few millimeters’ worth of pages have been scanned and made available online. Even fewer pages have been transcribed into computer text and made searchable. If you want to peruse anything else, you have to apply for special access, schlep all the way to Rome, and go through every page by hand.

But a new project could change all that. Known as In Codice Ratio, it uses a combination of artificial intelligence and optical-character-recognition (OCR) software to scour these neglected texts and make their transcripts available for the very first time. If successful, the technology could also open up untold numbers of other documents at historical archives around the world.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Hobby Lobby Returns Stolen Artifacts

For those of you who haven't been following along, I covered the story of Iraqi artifacts stolen by the owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores last summer. Coincidentally - or perhaps not so much - Hobby Lobby is the same company that argued before the Supreme Court that it had "strong religious convictions" that women should be deprived of health care coverage for contraception. As I noted at the time, apparently those "strong religious convictions" aren't so strong as to preclude the owners of the chain from engaging in the theft of more than three thousand artifacts looted during the fighting in Iraq.

But at least according to this article, the case has a (relatively) happy ending. The stolen artifacts are on their way back to Iraq, which is a good thing for the museums and universities that will see their collections returned. On the down side, Hobby Lobby worked out a settlement in which they admitted no wrongdoing and nobody went to prison.

The dealers working with Hobby Lobby falsely labeled the shipments as "ceramics" and "samples" and illegally shipped them to Hobby Lobby stores and two corporate offices, according to the DOJ.

Hobby Lobby's president last year opened a Bible museum in Washington said to contain some 40,000 biblical artifacts. At the time of its settlement with ICE and DOJ, Hobby Lobby said that it should have exercised more oversight in its acquisitions.

"In 2009, Hobby Lobby began acquiring a variety of historical Bibles and other artifacts. Developing a collection of historically and religiously important books and artifacts about the Bible is consistent with the company's mission and passion for the Bible," it said in the July statement.

"We should have exercised more oversight and carefully questioned how the acquisitions were handled," Hobby Lobby President Steve Green said in the statement. "Hobby Lobby has cooperated with the government throughout its investigation, and with the announcement of today's settlement agreement, is pleased the matter has been resolved."

The DOJ said Hobby Lobby had pledged to set up policies on the buying of cultural property, provide necessary training to its personnel, hire qualified outside customs counsel and customs brokers, and submit quarterly reports to the government on any cultural property it buys for eighteen months.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Lessons from Wild Wild Country

There's been some buzz on the Internet about the new Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country. The series documents the conflict between the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, later known as Osho, and the residents of Antelope, Oregon. Antelope is a small town twenty miles from the site where the Rajneeshis attempted to build a city called Rajneeshpuram based on the teachings of their guru.

The series makes it clear that there was all sorts of bullshit on both sides of the conflict. The people of Antelope come off as a bunch of intolerant hicks who hated on the Rajneeshis before they even interacted with them basically because they were "weird" and - gasp - liked having sex. I find it hard to believe that if the Rajneeshis were a bunch of Christians there would have been anywhere near the level of conflict that eventually took place.

The Rajneeshis, on the other hand, made elaborate claims about how enormous their new city was going to be. They promoted estimates of fifty thousand people, when the community at its height was more like maybe ten. In response to those exaggerated projections, the people of Antelope freaked. They put through legal motions to block the formation of Rajneeshpuram, which meant that the Rajneeshis had to relocate their official offices to the nearest community - Antelope. So the tiny town was overrun with Rajneeshis conducting the business of the movement.

Some Rajneeshis started buying property in Antelope to be closer to the group's administrative offices, which stoked fears that they were "taking over" the community. That fueled more conflict and more resentment, and everything escalated from there. It's easy to suggest that if the people of Antelope had just left the Rajneeshis alone they would have built all of their infrastructure in Rajneeshpuram and likely would have left Antelope alone.

As Aleister Crowley commented in Magick Without Tears, ninety percent of "Do what thou wilt" can pretty much be summed up as "mind your own business." Both sides could have used that principle to better effect.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

OTO Member Wins Defamation Case

David Bottrill, a member of Ordo Templi Orientis in Australia, recently won a defamation case agaist a woman who shared a YouTube video accusing him of belonging to a "satanic and pedophile group." As should be obvious to anyone with half a brain who bothers to investigate, OTO is nothing of the sort. It is a fraternal order of magicians dedicated the system of Thelema, which may be approached in many ways - but which bears no resemblance to the cartoon "Satanism" of Jack Chick tracts.

A man who is a member of a little-known religious order has been awarded $18,880 for defamation after a woman shared a YouTube video on her Facebook page that made claims about him and his religion.

Australian man David Bottrill is part of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) fraternal religious order, which follows the writings of the late British occultist and magician, Aleister Crowley. According to Bottrill, members of OTO in Australia number around 100.

Bottrill claimed Katrina Bailey had defamed him by sharing a video on her Facebook page in mid-2017 that suggested he was a member of a satanic and pedophile group, who used his job to import children into Australia to facilitate pedophilia.

On Friday, the Australian Capital Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) found in Bottrill's favour, saying Bailey had defamed him, and ordering her to apologise, take down the post, and pay $18,880.

The reality is that the only people who think that pedophilia and occultism have anything to do with each other are fundamentalist Christians, who made up phony "Satanism" in the 1980's to persecute members of minority religions. The idea was to get "Satanism" defied as child molestation so they could ban it, and then get all non-Christian religions classified as "Satanism" so they could become the American state religion. The whole concept was misguided, unconstitutional, and never would have worked - but there were those who "had faith" that God would make it happen anyway, and it ruined a lot of innocent lives.

I'll add that I've gotten really tired of this online nonsense over the last couple of years. The reason that people keep doing it is that lurid claims get them lots of attention and pageviews, and so far there have been few real consequences for promoting even outright falsehoods that go so far as to put lives in danger. With the upcoming lawsuits against Alex Jones over the Sandy Hook shooting and this successful civil case in Australia, that tide may finally be turning. Let's hope so.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Iraqi Stargate

Here's a weird theory that's been floating around the Internet for about fifteen years now. Apparently, the gods of the ancient Sumerians were space aliens and they provided their worshippers with stargates. You know, those big round gizmos from the 1994 film and the television franchise that ran in three incarnations from 1997 to 2010. One of these stargates was discovered by Saddam Hussein when he ordered renovations to an ancient Sumerian palace, and the United States invaded to take control of the device in 2003.

Essentially, the Iraq War Stargate theory pushes and narrows this idea a little further. Saying one of the technologies that were gifted upon the Sumerians were stargates and their positioning was one of the major reasons for the years of strife in the Middle East. I reached out to Dr. Michael Salla, who wrote an in-depth article about the theory way back in 2003, to learn about it further.

Before we got into the nitty-gritty, I had to figure out if a stargate was just as cool as Hollywood made it out to be. "It's kind of like an instantaneous space-time means of travel where people are instantaneously teleported from one area to another," said Salla. Yup, super cool.

So, the stargate is apparently found near in the Nasiriyah, a city about 370 km south-east of Baghdad—in the ancient city of Ur—within that city is the great Ziggurat, a massive temple, which had a, you guessed it, stargate. Some theories also argue there is a stargate directly in the city of Baghdad, in one of the basements of Hussein's palaces— where he probably did some pretty freaky stuff with it.

While the locations and number of the stargates is in dispute, one thing the theorists do all agree on, is that the Iraq War wasn't the first time that a foreign power showed interest in it. In what sounds like a super sweet Indiana Jones fan-fic, the Nazis were fighting the British in during WWII over control of the Stargate.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mastering the Thirty Aires Submitted!

We seem to have survived the latest Nibiru Rapture in order to allow me to make an important announcement to fans of my Enochian books. Yeah, that's totally the reason! It's kind of like an Enochian Entirely-Other-Than-Apocalypse - so take that, Donald Tyson! Anyway, this is cross-posted from my author website.

It took a lot longer than I ever expected, but my draft manuscript for Mastering the Thirty Aires has finally been submitted to my publisher. Editing and book production usually run around six months or so, which means that the book should be available sometime next fall.

Mastering the Thirty Aires completes my trilogy of books on the mostly-Dee-purist-with-some-additions system of Enochian magick that I have worked out over the last twenty-five years. It focuses on practical results, and uses what I consider the best interpretation of the material in the Dee diaries for attributions and powers of the all the spirits and other components of the system. It deals with how to use the Aires and Parts of the Earth to effect political change, and also includes some valuable and practical material on zodiacal magick.

I'm looking forward to making this final piece of my base Enochian system available to the public, and will keep you all posted when I have a release date. Thanks for your patience, and I think you will like the final result very much.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

New Nibiru Rapture Tomorrow!

David Meade is back. After being relentlessly mocked here on Augoeides over last year's Rapture/Nibiru end of the world conspiracy theory, the dude has no idea when to quit. Now he's made a new prediction that's exactly the same as the last.

Oh, except that it happens tomorrow. Cue the mass hysteria!

According to conspiracy theorists, codes in the Bible suggest the end of the world is imminent, with Earth set to be destroyed tomorrow, April 23. One theory suggests the end times dates back to astrological constellations appearing on November 23, matching the book of Revelation 12:1-2. The passage signals the start of the Rapture and the second coming of Jesus Christ.

The passage 12:1–2 reads: “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.” It is thought that Virgo is the woman from the passage. On April 23, the sun and moon will be in Virgo, as will Jupiter, which represents the Messiah. Experts at first dismissed this claim when they discovered this alignment happens very 12 years. However, the conspiracy theories claim another planetary alignment, representing “the Lion of the tribe of Judah’, will make this time the Rapture.

Christian conspiracy theorist David Meade is the main expert suggesting the end times are here. Mr Meade also predicts a mythological planetary system known as Planet X or Nibiru will appear in the sky on April 23. He claims it will then pass the Earth in October, causing the start of the Rapture with huge volcanoes and volcanic eruptions due to its gravitational force.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

About Damn Time

Poor Alex Jones! After years of bullshit over the "Sandy Hook Truthers," he finally is being sued by the parents who had to endure death threat after death threat along with the insinuation that their murdered children never existed. As a parent I find it hard to imagine much that would be more awful, and it's also clear that Jones giving a platform to a bunch of crazies is the whole reason the harassment existed. So as I see it, Jones is entirely responsible. Whether or not he personally defamed the families, which appears to be his defense, it should not have been hard to figure out that this is what some of his listeners were going to do. He's never even come out and forcefully denounced those people either - rather, the only real pushback he gave is essentially that he wasn't sure.

The InfoWars host is being sued for defamation by Neil Heslin, the father of 6-year-old victim Jesse Heslin, and Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, who lost their six-year-old son Noah, for $1 million each over his conspiracy theories and “vicious lies” surrounding the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Responding to the lawsuits on his show, the controversial broadcaster denied that he ever believed the shooting was faked and 20 children were not killed there.

“You’re allowed to question things in America, that’s not defamation,” Jones said. “But what is defamation is to file lawsuits that say I said things I didn’t say and then put me and my whole family through the ringer and lie about us and hold us up against dead children and say basically ‘we hate their families, we hate the children.' It’s almost like I’ve murdered the children and that’s not what happened.”

Alex Jones of Infowars.com speaks during a rally in support of Donald Trump near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 18, 2016. The InfoWars host is being sued for defamation by parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre. Jones added suggestions of him saying the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax was merely him playing “devil’s advocate.” He told his listeners: “We looked at it, and I don’t think the thing was a hoax.

“The media jumped on it, they exasperated it, they faked some locations, they did some things in the aftermath… but the new hoax is that I’m saying they’re crisis actors and it didn’t happen. My listeners said a lot of them look like they’re acting, we looked at it and I said ‘I can’t say that’—that’s what I’ve always said.”

Monday, April 16, 2018

Via Solis Aries Elixir Rite - Year Two

Today's Magick Monday post is a full script for the Aries Elixir Rite that we will be performing tomorrow, Tuesday April 17th, at Leaping Laughter Oasis, our local Twin Cities body of Ordo Templi Orientis. We will continue the momentum of last year by performing one of these per month for each of the twelve signs. I will be posting the full scripts here on the preceding Mondays so people can take a look at them if they want to attend. Also, if you are in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) and would like to attend, let me or someone at the lodge know. This is a public ritual and all are welcome.

0. The Temple

The ritual space is set up with an altar table in the center. The bell chime, banishing dagger, and invoking wand are placed on the altar. In the center of the altar is placed a cup of wine for creating the elixir, within the Table of Art corresponding to Aries. Items to be consecrated may be placed on the altar by any of the attendees, as Aries is attributed to the Power of Consecrating Things. This ritual may be performed with one, two, or three officers, who may alternate taking the Officiant role and divide up the reading from Liber 963.

I. Opening

All stand surrounding the altar. Officiant inhales fully, placing the banishing dagger at his or her lips. The air is then expelled as the dagger is swept backwards.

Officiant: Bahlasti! Ompehda!

Officiant then performs the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. All rotate accordingly.

Officiant: We take refuge in Nuit, the blue-lidded daughter of sunset, the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night sky, as we issue the call to the awakened nature of all beings, for every man and every woman is a star.

All: MAKAShANaH

Officiant: We take refuge in Hadit, the secret flame that burns in every heart of man and in the core of every star, as we issue the call to our own awakened natures, arousing the coiled serpent about to spring.

All: ABRAHADABRA

Officiant: We take refuge in Heru-Ra-Ha, who wields the wand of double power, the wand of the force of Coph Nia, but whose left hand is empty for he has crushed an universe and naught remains, as we unite our awakened natures with those of all beings everywhere and everywhen, dissolving all obstacles and healing all suffering.

All: AUMGN

Officiant: For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

All: All is pure and present are and has always been so, for existence is pure joy; all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass and done; but there is that which remains. To this realization we commit ourselves – pure and total presence. So mote it be.


Bell Chime

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Against Mister Rogers

This post leans a little more political than what I usually do here, but I figure that Fred Rogers was a Presbyterian minister so it still vaguely falls under my umbrella. A couple of weeks ago, Boing Boing posted this article explaining that yes, there really are conservatives out there who hate Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. This particularly dumb segment from Fox & Frieds explains why. According to "experts" and "studies" that are never really cited, making kids feel good about themselves is a terrible, terrible thing.

Fred Rogers is the subject of a documentary and a biopic starring Tom Hanks, both out later this year. Though most Americans assume he's a national treasure, he's widely loathed by conservatives who center him in their myth of "participation trophy" culture.

I remember one columnist describing him as a saccharine man whose job was to help the education industry tell stupid children they were special—one of the more enduring impressions I got of American conservatives after moving here in the 2000s. (Another: turning on the radio to hear someone muttering, barely in control of his rage, about how much be hates bisexuals, intoning the word "hate" over and over. At first I thought it was a theatrical performance, a character in a radio play, but it turned out to be The Michael Reagan Show.)

Anyway, here's Fox and Friends complaining that young people are entitled and useless because Fred Rogers stressed the importance of love and its absence in their lives.

Now I want to ask a serious question here. Have any of you ever seen one of these mysterious "participation trophies?" Conservatives have been complaining about them since at least the late 1970's, and I've never seen one. I grew up in the 1970's and 1980's and loved Mister Rogers' Neighborhood as a small child, so according to this segment I should have been right in the thick of it. My kids have never seen these mythical objects either.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Pat Robertson Dominated by Homosexuals

That's his being dominated face

This story is pretty much par for the course for good old Pat Robertson, who at this point has his own tag here on Augoeides. But the headline was too funny for me to ignore. According to Pat, he and the rest of the culture are being "dominated" by homosexuals who allegedly control the media and are forcing him to watch LGBT folks on television.

Appearing on his program The 700 Club earlier this week, the televangelist went on a rant about a supposed “left-wing bias” in the media. Blaming the supposed bias on gays and lesbians, Robertson declared:

"We have given the ground to a small minority. You figure, lesbians, one percent of the population; homosexuals, two percent of the population. That’s all. That’s statistically all. But they have dominated — dominated the media, they’ve dominated the cultural shift and they have infiltrated the major universities. It’s just unbelievable what’s being done. A tiny, tiny minority makes a huge difference. The majority — it’s time it wakes up."

As usual, Robertson is wrong. The numbers refute any claim that the media is being “dominated” by gays and lesbians. According to the latest “Where We Are on TV” report from GLAAD, only about 4.8% of television roles are LGBTQ characters.

Actually, Robertson's numbers are a little low based on the best research we have regarding the percentage of the population that identifies as gay or lesbian. His 3% estimate is on the very low end, and the real percentage may be as high as 10% - though that's from Kinsey, whose study had some sampling bias. Anyway, the point is that if 4.8% of television roles are gay or lesbian, that probably isn't too far off from the real number. As Stephen Colbert once pointed out, facts have a well-known liberal bias.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Is Magick Dangerous?

This is one of those questions that gets asked over and over again on magick forums. I touched on this a little last week, but I figured that having a specific post to point people to would be helpful.

Before I really get going, I should point out that the answer to this question depends entirely on context. If you are asking "Does magick contain an element of risk?" the answer is of course yes, but that's true for all kinds of things that we do every day. Walking down a flight of stairs contains an element of risk because you can fall. It doesn't happen very often, but the risk is always there. And driving a car is more dangerous than the vast majority of activities we engage in on a regular basis.

So the real question should be something more like "How dangerous is magick, and what are the dangers associated with it?" A lot of people online still seem to believe that practicing magick can cause mental illness, which is basically nonsense. Most mental illnesses aren't caused by behavior or environment to begin with. If you have a pre-existing mental illness, anything that increases your stress might trigger an episode, but that's probably more likely to come from, say, job stress than from spiritual practices of whatever sort.

The reason this idea persists is that in the American population, about one person in four has a mental illness and about one person in thirty or so has a serious mental illness like bipolar I and schizophrenia. These mental illnesses can come and go, so if you happen to meet somebody in the occult community who seems fine and then a while later has an episode of mental illness, it's easy to conclude that "the magick did it!" When really, what you're seeing is just the natural cycle of an underlying condition.

Monday, April 2, 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 (who 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.

Rituals

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

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

Liber DCCCXIII, Cap VII.
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

Liber DCCCXIII, Cap VI.
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.

Regarding "Experienced Practitioners"

Last week it was pointed out to me that a lot of magicians online tend to say things like "practice xyz should only be done by experienced practitioners," without any real frame of reference as to what an "experienced practitioner" might be. As I see it, there are a number of reasons people say things like this, and some simple benchmarks you can apply to your own work to see if you "qualify."

First, there is a lot of nonsense in the magical community with people trying to one-up each other to show how "hard core" they are, and this is generally a recipe for disaster - or at least a whole lot of bullshit. You should pay attention to your own work and where it is getting you rather than trying to compare yourself to what others say they do. This is an important point - social media is full of people who exaggerate what they do, and how successful their magical work is. In fact, there is a tiny percentage of the population that are interested in magick at all, and the majority of those folks don't really practice. Also, there is a talent for magick like there is a talent for everything else, and a really tiny percentage of people get great results on their first or second ritual.

Second, anybody who has been a magician on the Internet for any period of time has run into "dark fluffers." Sometimes this is a variant of the previous case, but other times it consists of people who immediately gravitate towards the "evil" parts of magical systems and ignore the others. Enochian cacodemons are a classic example of this. The cacodemons are actually kind of a pain to work with not because they are "evil," but because they are stupid. They are less complex and less intelligent than basically every other class of entity in the system. That means that you are a lot more likely to run into a "monkey's paw" situation when working with them if you are not entirely clear with your injunctions and limitations.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

He is Risen!

You know, whoever he is. In a story that is just perfect for an Easter Sunday that also falls on April Fools' Day, a church in England ordered banners that were supposed to read "Christ is Risen" for Easter Sunday. The printers accidentally omitted the "T" from "Christ." So the proof banner instead read "Chris is Risen." Fortunately the error was caught in the proofing stage, so the church didn't wind up with a big crowd of people gathered this morning to worship Chris. But it was a close one.

A church was presented with signs reading "Chris is risen" after a mix up at the printers. Acomb Parish Church, in York, had ordered four banners saying 'Christ is Risen' but the 'T' was missed off the finished article. However, assistant Curate Ned Lunn said the error was discovered before the signs were delivered. A BBC Radio York Facebook post has been shared more than 3,000 times, prompting one person to reply 'More T vicar?'

Mr Lunn said: "I'm so glad the customer spotted the mistake. It'll save a bit of embarrassment and a lot of confusion. I had to check the four banners when I distributed them though, just to make sure. The pastor at the Baptist Church is actually called Chris and he's got to get up for a sunrise service at 6.30am on Easter Sunday. His predecessor didn't manage to get up for the service last year."

From an April Fool's Day perspective that's too bad, because people showing up at the church to worship Chris would have been just perfect. And if Pastor Chris had failed to wake up on time to meet them, that would have been even funnier. It sounds like everything worked out fine for the church this morning, but maybe Pope Francis had it right. It's April Fool's Day, so let's just not worry about it and have a low-key Easter this year.

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate, and Happy April Fools' Day to boot!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Magical Hooker Cakes

Fundamentalist Christians have been trying to come up with a "cure" for homosexuality for a long time. They're still at it, because sexual orientation doesn't respond well to the various psychoanalytic nonsense they keep trying to throw at it. But according a recent article from The Christian Post, Christian "thought leader" and pastor Dr. Lance Wallnau has a novel suggestion. According to Wallnau, what you have to do is get homosexuals to eat magical cakes anointed by former hookers.

During a Periscope session last weekend, a woman asked Wallnau to pray for her son to be delivered from homosexuality and he suggested that an "anointed cake" may work for her.

"I read a testimony today about the owner of a bar who was gay and this is crazy. Now I'm not saying this is gonna work for you, but some hookers — they were in this bar — got saved. And they got saved because one of the guys who used to hang out there got saved. And they baked a cake for the owner of the bar who was gay and very adamantly anti-Christian," he began.

"And they basically prayed over the cake. It was an anointed cake and they made the cake and gave it as a gift. And when he ate the cake — I know it's strange, this is the person's testimony, it's not mine — the power of God hit him while he was eating the cake," Wallnau explained.

"He (gay bartender) went back to the guy at the bar that had given it to him, that he knew had got religion. And he said 'what the heck. I had a weird experience eating your cake.' And he said 'well, that was the presence of God.' He ends up leading the guy to the Lord and baptizes him and when he gets baptized the guy gets delivered. And the spirit that was working him got broken off."

I'm in agreement with Wallnau over exactly one part of his account - it certainly is crazy. I guess the upshot of all this is that homosexuality is a choice, because it consists of choosing not to eat the magical hooker cakes. Good to know! Also, I should point out that the similarity of these special confections to the "winky dinky ho cakes" from the Robert Townsend film Hollywood Shuffle, shown above, is not lost on me. Nor should it be!

The reality is that if any part of this account is true (and it probably isn't), what these folks really did was cast a mind-control spell using a material basis. That's beginner-level occultism, but total anathema to the principles that Christian fundamentalists claim to uphold.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Microcosmic Versus Macrocosmic Rituals

This article was prompted by a question posed with regard to the operant field method of working with ceremonial forms. One of the points I make is that the pentagram is the symbol of the microcosm and represents the elements, and the hexagram is the symbol of the macrocosm and represents the planets. Other occult authors will tell you that the elements are most closely related to the material world and the planets are more closely related to the astral realms. What I'll say there is that in a sense both of these are true. You just have to pay attention to the context.

First off, the hexagram is not just the symbol of the planets. It is the symbol of the macrocosm in general. In the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, you're not doing planetary work at all. The hexagrams you are working with there are the hexagrams of the elements. So an elemental pentagram represents the microcosmic form of the element, and an elemental hexagram represents its macrocosmic form. Some groups teach this idea that you can do a "lesser hexagram of a planet" by attributing the points on the elemental hexagrams to specific planets, but to my way of thinking that makes no sense at all.

Second, I keep saying this, but it's really important. There is no "hierarchy" between "lesser" and "greater" rituals. They are entirely different kinds of rituals. Same with "supreme" rituals. Beginning students get confused by this all the time, and the only reason I still use the old Golden Dawn terminology there is that it's so widely used that if I don't, nobody knows what I'm talking about. These rituals are actually used like this:

Lesser Rituals are general. They are used to set up your working space and the scope of your operation.

Greater Rituals are specific. Once your working space and scope are set up, you use them to tune your space to a specific magical force. Greater Pentagram rituals are for elements, and Greater Hexagram rituals are used for planets and zodiacal signs. Some groups teach that you should use the pentagram with signs instead, and what might be going on there is that you get the microcosmic aspect of a sign (like personality traits) with the pentagram of the ruling element and the macrocosmic aspect of a sign (its magical power) with the hexagram of the ruling element. Generally, though, I work with the macrocosm exclusively on the grounds that the microcosm is contained within it.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

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.