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After taking some time to settle back in my home, am finding that I'm starting to cook as though I'm comfortable again. Slightly more room has me considering taking the time to set up a small area for votive offerings in the kitchen. After a recent trip to an Indian restaurant, and catching a glimpse of a bronze statue of a Hindu goddess with a dish filled with sea salt and fresh herbs, I was reminded of this. The kitchen is a major centre of my work, as my eclecticism includes food magic/kitchen witchery. I'm deeply concerned, in an almost spiritual level, about the qualities and energetic benefits we gain from the food we eat. Visiting the Hindu restaurant has given me an opportunity to think about the kinds of things I associate with my kitchen. Brought home a shelf a few months ago, and put it on the south wall. From an elemental standpoint, the kitchen for me is a place upon which the basic four converge. Foods and herbs come from the earth, washed off, set affire, and their aromas are cast up like airy offerings to the gods, spirits and ancestors. My recent view of the deceased has made me realize that I do include them as family - and the act of cooking, and eating is a very communal-based activity, as it has been for me ever since childhood. Perhaps that is one element of my upbringing that has remained with me.

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Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: Clan of Xymox - Jasmine and Rose

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Came home about a month ago from another mournful trip to Florida. Although it was an opportunity to become more familiar with death and the energy that is associated with it, it was also a difficult time dealing with family members who were let's just say somewhat less receptive of the experience we had come together to witness. I was fully aware that this was not something I was entirely comfortable sharing with people who perhaps didn't or wouldn't believe me if I were to begin telling them that I had been having premonitions as early as a month prior. These are things you can't share with people who will refuse to try to understand, even if they are your own flesh and blood. My father's case, paired with the two other deaths around that time that I was viewing a few months prematurely, it turns a chance affair into the old wives' tale - "thrice round the circle bound".

So all this time that I had experienced death in the onset of Winter in the past had not come close to what I was facing here. This was in the dead of winter. And across the US temperatures were dropping rapidly. Home for me, here in St. Louis was feeling the bitter chill of negatives, while in Florida where I stayed the winds bellowed through 20 degree weather - which many people realize is not the norm for central Florida. So there I was, aware of what I was looking at, trying to fight over-emotionality, and seeking to observe and perceive the ways in which that energy manifests itself, for those of us who are watching - to sense and try to make sense of it.

After everything was said and done - last moments of life, paperwork, funerary arrangements, insurances, packing and moving - I came home where the closest thing to Winter was snow storms and too-cold-for-my-blood weather.  Left in a fog for a solid month, unpacking and getting settled at home again. It was enough time to also work the bronchitis out of my system. The experience doesn't warrant complete depression. Its not like he's completely gone - there are always cabinet doors that open a few feet from me and conversations in the great unfathomable dreamtime.

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Current Location: St. Louis
Current Mood: pensive pensive
Current Music: Christian Death - Romeo's Distress

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Just came home from a trip to Florida. It was a combination funeral/early Christmas. My family is Christian, so I don't have any problem calling it that. I usually have 2 Christmases and I Yule every year; my family, inlaws, and then there's me. It was the best thing that a displaced Floridian could have hoped for - early holiday in 70 F. The fog was thick, and oaks were draped with an endless supply of moss. I figured I was lacking in the pine needle and oakmoss department, and decided to bring some back up to Missouri. I'll find a use for it. But of course when I got home it was 7 F.

I've been thinking about Yule the whole trip. I had the chance to have warm weather, and find myself returning to the cold regions on the eve of Yule. And here I am back home, where we need the heat and sun the most. I never know how I am going to celebrate a sabbat until it is upon me. Yule is no different. Lately I find myself drawn into these elongated meditations on the sun's movements into dusk; watching intently as the sun passes out of view, and watching the multicoloured draperies overlaid upon the sky as we descend into darkness. Its a gradual process, much like death. We're at a pivotal point in the cycle- startled and burdened by the bitterness of this cold front, longing for warmth and glowing light of the sun in our lives. No matter how much we want it, it isn't happening right now. Though the cold came on gradually, its snap is currently unbearable - yet this is our lot, and we need to appreciate it for what it is, and pass through it.

Death for a loved one is like the bitterness that winter brings to us. Deeply we mourn for our loss, and often forget we ought to rejoice that while another one bites the dust, on the other side they have emerged in the path of the rays of an eternal sun.

Enough philosophizing for Yule's eve.

Current Mood: pensive pensive
Current Music: Pearl Jam - Oceans

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Was watching a show the other night where Ugandan natives engaged in a ritual and gave offerings of coffee beans to the ancestors of their tribe. At that very moment I started nodding in agreement as if I instinctively felt some kind of spiritual camraderie with the idea of using coffee beans as an offering. I have no idea of the significance of offerings of coffee beans in Ugandan culture. However have roots in Caribbean culture, of which I know equally as much unfortunately. Regardless, I still feel some degree of resonance with the inclusion of drumming and offerings of coffee beans. Coffee for me is a very sacred drink - probably because I'm deeply addicted to its flavor.

Lately I have been thinking on a trip I made a few yrs back to Key West, and about how that journey caused me to think differently about the influence of my heritage on my spiritual path. The first twelve years of my life were spent in Miami, whence I moved to Central Florida, or crackertown as many so lovingly pen it. Incidentally, crackertown is also overlapped by an invisible barrier known as the bible belt. My husband rarely lets me forget that I come from 'thuh Saa-oath', but never really felt at home living on land surrounded by land that has no ocean access. Granted I learned to make due with the gulf waters for many years, but living in the Midwest, cut off from access to the energy of the ocean - well suffice it to say that rivers just aren't the same. Not to mention cold weather. Its never 28 F in Miami. These are physical issues that connect to an environmental circumstance. The heart of the matter was the discovery of elements in the environment that feel so natural and essential, as basic as the air we breathe. And in a spiritual context some of those things - air currents and closeness to the ocean, are very important in many different cultures, especially those in close proximity to equatorial lines.

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Current Mood: cold cold
Current Music: Bauhaus - Who Killed Mr. Moonlight

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Last weekend with a few friends, I attended Midsummer ritual organized by a nearby coven. It was performed with an obvious shamanic wiccan angle. Being a non-wiccan, I don't necessarily agree with the motions, but gained a few things from the experience nonetheless. It made me think about things I hadn't thought about for sometime:
1. finding the personal connection that reflects who I am and divinity that speaks to me the way that Diana or Isis speak to others
2. Reconsidering shrine/altar design
3. The impact of group ritual.

First and foremost, for a long time I didn't have a 'mother goddess' that I readily identified with in the way that others identify with say Danu, Diana or Isis for example. But at a certain point in my life, I felt the call of Tiamat, and with me she remained, even though I tend to not do much work with her. The ritual got me thinking about her a bit more closely, which inspired me to do more research. Also I happened to be reading The Great Cosmic Mother at this particular juncture, which while I have found reviews that shun this work as an overtly feminist agenda, there are passages that focus on ancient symbolism which I myself have considered or felt drawn towards without exactly knowing why. So in that respect I can't deny the pull towards seeking to understand some of those threads. Since my poetry is my major connection with Tiamat, I've reread some of those passages and found references to these ancient symbols in some of my older writings that now seem as though they had been so obvious - staring through my soul the whole time and I'm only now beginning to see.

Second, I was really taken by the beautiful altar display at Witch Mountain, and it made me think about the things I have on my ancestor altar. Currently its a collection of images which pay homage to ancestors - my best friend's sister's grandmother's vase, photos of my mother, and of my godfather; paired with images of the divine - a grecian stele sporting a man & caduceus, and a flag of a crimson virgin Mary that I brought home from an exhibit on Latin milagros imagery; and myriad candles. This imagery brings to mind the elements that are important in my practice. Serpents are often a common thread, as is blood. My kitchen windows are, after all, dressed in dragon yin-yang curtains. It also made me reconsider the usefulness of figurines such as faerie or dragon statues, and their application in an altar or shrine. I also have an elephant candle posed on a shelf over my kitchen sink, to remind me of the youthful idealism of Ganesha, remover of obstacles.

Third, group ritual is not typically my bag, per se. By nature I remain a solitary creature. But over the last year or so things have become excessively stagnant. It was a very long, cold, dead winter and took quite a toll on me this year. Sometimes group ritual has a vitalizing effect on me. It provides fresh, new perspectives, and changes the way I see the world. This year in particular, the difficult winter brought with it a very unfortunate time in my life, and some of that depression remained right up to midsummer. And the focus of the rite addressed the elements of self and of life that I was in terrible need of addressing. It rocked my soul so hard that i found myself going through the motions as the emotions came back to the surface.  And just when I thought there was no way to work through it, somehow I was doing just that - letting go of the pain, slipping through the drumbeats, and finding my alto voice. Its a strange sensation sobbing and chanting simultaneously.

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Current Location: St. Louis, Mo
Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: Christian Death - She Never Woke Up

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It actually began with a post to my primary blog at wordpress about Culinary Ritual Theory. Met with a friend tonight and had a discussion on a session she attended with a nutritionist whose specialty involves careful study and focus on raw or living foods. She is very open to the concept of positive and negative energies, albeit probably from a more new age perspective. So I shared with her some of my thoughts on food preparation concerning the transmission of energy from the perspective of someone who practices food magic/kitchen witchery. I introduced some ideas about combining energies from the operator (magician), in addition to lingering energies, and other source aids - such as candles, crystals, aromas, music, etc. Music motivates us and can give us excess energy or can bring us down a notch. So it is clear that an influence as potent as music has an effect on the operator, and can influence the operator's perspective in kitchen ritualwork. Similarly, working with candles and crystals may also contribute to the same ends as well. I do still incorporate candles and crystals, but tend to focus more intently on the utilization of music as a core stimulus in ritual food preparation.

On a personal note, I keep specific candles and crystals in my kitchen to alter the environment. The music I usually play in my kitchen when I cook is usually classic rock. Eventually I will move some specific selections in there, but don't really have the room to do that just yet. Because it would be a nice idea to incorporate specific ethnic sounds in future ritualwork, accordingly.  There is a specific type of energy that accompanies ethnic music. It is a very motivational experience to feel that kind of energy move through the operator, during the ritualwork, and develop a feel for how the cuisine is meant to be prepared.  Because food is very sacred to me, I have no idea if my approach is par the course for food magic/kitchen witchery, or if it is an experimental approach. It is the way that I have come to understand and practice. the study and practice of food magic is about more than living magic, but preparing a meal that moves both the body and soul.

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Current Music: Christian Death- Desperate Hell

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Mythology is a cultural expression of widespread ideologies and experience. Today, many people in this world look down upon myth as tales completely rooted in fiction to keep society within moral boundaries. I don't entirely agree. Many civilizations since the dawn of time had special lessons to impart through the power of myth that embodied the teachings of what we could now call our spiritual and cultural ancestors. Many people are often drawn towards the mythology of their blood ancestors. Some, however, find themselves attracted to the mythologies of places they have never been or which for the individual seems unconnected, on the surface. Is there some logical reason behind this phenomena, or should we immediately turn to reincarnation as an answer?

The question addresses the reason for, and origin of that attraction to a specific pantheon. Many of us do research and find we are interested in a particular deity, or what they represent. This isn't the case for everyone. Some of us are walking down the street one day and become overwhelmed with the synergy of being directed by divine will down a particular avenue that maybe we haven't considered before, or have fought against vehemently. Of course this then calls into question the validity of the argument between predetermination versus free will, and the nature of whether or not we are capable of exerting control over our own lives.

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Current Music: Chameleons UK - Intrigue in Tangiers

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Last night a friend of mine was asking if there were any books that I could recommend on Paganism and goddess worship. So I decided to sort of take another inventory of the books I've read or have on my shelf, with notes on what I gleaned from them, if anything at all. Sometimes even a bad book has a grain or two of truth. Several of those I disposed of, once I got all I could from them. But many are also worth hanging onto. So here is my booklist:

Fiction / Poetry/Classical Writings
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman (what if the gods came to America?)
Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman (the cunning and fury of gods who have yet to become; here even gods die)
Daphnis & Chloe, by Longus (Roman religion)
The Golden Ass, by Apuleius (Egyptian goddess worship)
The Pagan's Muse, by Jane Raeburn (nice verses; inspirational)
The Book of Pagan Prayer, by Ceisiwr Serith (explores elements of devotionals and prayers)
The Way of Wyrd, by Brian Bates (Historical fiction based on Anglo-saxon Paganism)

Goddess Worship
The Spiral Dance, by Starhawk

A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year, by Ellen Evert Hopman
The Healing Power of Herbs
Healing Teas, Antol
Herbal Tea Gardens, Marcin
The Modern Witch's Book of Herbs and Healing
A Witch's Beverages and Brews, by Patricia Telesco

Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America, by Margot Adler
Ancient Religions, by Vergilius Ferm
A History of Pagan Europe, by Prudence Jones & Nigel Pennick (wide array of Pagan European history)
The Golden Bough, by Sir James Frazer
Magic, Witchcraft and Paganism in America: A Bibliography, by J. Melton
Paganism in the Roman Empire, by Ramsay Macmullen
The Sumerians: Their History, Culture and Character, by Samuel Noah Kramer (Sumero-akkadian myth and life)
The Witch Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology, by Margaret Murray (whatever the reader thinks of her is irrelevant. Reading this account, and then considering the torture methods of the time period is of utmost importance)

Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard, by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (good references)
Oriental Magic, by Sayed Idries Shah (from Ancient Near East to Far East)

The Geometry of Art & Life, Matila Ghyka

Generation Hex, edited by Jason Louv (explores varying magical approaches and perspectives)
Liber Null & Psychonaut: An Introduction to Chaos Magic, by Peter J Caroll

Medieval Folklore, by Lindell, McNamara, Lindow
Celtic Myth and Magic, DJ Conway
Celtic Mythology, by Geddes & Grossett
Celtic Myth and Mankind: Heroes of the Dawn, Time Life Books
World Mythology: An ANthology of the Great Myths and Epics, by Donna Rosenberg
Myths & Legends of the Ancient Near East, by Fred Gladstone Skinner

Amulets & Talismans, by E. A. Budge
Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, by Francis A Yates
The Black Arts, by Richard Cavendish (good history on occult practices)
The Necronomicon, by Simon (best if taken with a grain of salt, and read in between the lines)
The Necromantic Ritual Book, by Leilah Wendell (A strange taste of 'amour du morte', but touches on some relevant areas of Necromancy)
Secrets of Magical Seals: A Modern Grimoire of Amulets, Charms, Symbols and Talismans, by Anna Riva
Three Books of Occult Philosophy, written by Henry Cornelius Agrippa and annotated by Donald Tyson (good deal of symbolism and charts relative to magic and ritual)

Out of the Shadows: An Exploration of Dark Paganism and Magic, by John J Coughlin (presents the dark side of living Paganism, dark goddesses, and dark subcultures)

Crystals & Healing Stones, by Judy Hall
Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Crystal Gem and Metal Magi, by Scott Cunningham
Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, by Judith K Illes
Encyclopedia of Magic and Witchcraft, by Susan Greenwood
Mythology: A visual encyclopedia, by Jo Forty
Rocks & Minerals

The Healing Runes, by Ralph A Blum
Runelore, by Edred Thorrson

The Way of the Shaman, by Michael Harner (Useful practices and insightful)

Wicca / Witchcraft
The Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft, by Kathryn Paulsen
Earth, Air, Fire, Water: More techniques of Natural Magic, by Scott Cunningham
Earth Magic, by Scott Cunningham
Green Witchcraft, by Ann Moura
Hereditary Witchcraft, by Raven Grimassi (Stregheria, arcane scripts)
Practical Candleburning Rituals, by Raymond Buckland (gave a good basis for candle magic)
Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham

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Current Music: Christian Death - The Serpent's Tail

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Last year's picnic had its ups and downs. This year, I have a friend going with me to attend the picnic. Somebody else who is also interested in this stuff - everything from roasted corn to workshops to sparkly shiny things! I don't really do the whole networking thing - at least not so much at the picnic. For me its about seeing who is in the community and what they are contributing. Products, services, etc. And the thrifter in me loves a good deal - if I can find one.

Last year's picnic was made an utter disappointment by a man whose name I know not, who presented a workshop on Otherkin, which sadly was more like a bastardized version of Faerie Wicca than anything remotely otherkin. I do hope that this year will be better.

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Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: Chameleons UK - Intrique in Tangiers

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Yesterday was a very strange time here. I have trouble sleeping so I wake up every couple hours. So yesterday morning I woke up exactly at 7:30 and spotted that the power was out. So we got up and went outside to work on the generator. I was out there freezing, gazing up at the skies as clouds sped fast overhead. Winds were heavy and there was a general sense of this incredible energy all around us. A powerful primal force. I remember when I had first heard about the cyclone in Myanmar, it remained with me for some reason. And in a meditation before bed one evening, while focusing on the subject of chaos, I saw something that was kind of like a whirlwind, kind of like a cyclone. I hadn't really connected the two before. And then Sunday morning, I stood freezing in my light hoodie, pressed against the vinyl siding of the house, as I watched this raging chaos blow past us.

Later my brother and I conversed about the Georgia tornadoes that spun off of the Missouri storm system. We kinda joked with dark humour about the storms, and introduced elements of levity regarding something so powerfully destructive that did indeed inflict death in small numbers. We are however, two of a kind, and dark humour is a trick of the trade. But it was interesting to me that he was commenting on the power and energy in those whirlwinds. It brings to mind the curious notion of how in these very interesting times, when the onslaught devastational storm systems around the world are reaking such havoc, people whose focus is not on specified energy systems, are witnesses to huge currents nonetheless.

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Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: 77 Jefferson

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On and off for a while now I've had a single name lingering in the back of my mind; Baba Jaga. I've been going through a very rough time in life lately. Of the reproductive side, nothing seems to work right. The hormonal medication makes me crazy, and I just feel like I'm suffocating in general. Last night as I was starting to fall asleep I hear a name in my mind and what should it be but ... Baba Jaga. I have a rudimentary understanding of what she represents in the slavic pantheon, but decided to do some reading, to get a better understanding. I found it interesting that the principles of creation and chaos seemed to run through similar chords linking the ideas behind Baba Jaga and Tiamat. Even if there is no literal cross cultural link, the ideas encompass the same rhythm as they overlap the discovery of darkness gained through self reflection. After thinking about that, it no longer seemed like such a mystery as to why I had Baba Jaga on the brain.

Current Mood: content content
Current Music: Juno Reactor - Solaris

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It can clearly be stated and defended that Christian Eschatology has borrowed from Pagan civilizations, but what can be said of modern Pagan Eschatology? Many of the reconstructionist faiths have their own series of myths about the end and post-life. The New Age craze has the Age of Aquarius going for them - a supposed time when the Age of Pisces/the Era of Christianity meets its end.  What about the rest of us? Is an individual's view any less valid than the views of larger Pagan denominations? Many people discuss the influence of magic upon the ethereal structure we so lovingly call 'the vale'.  I don't know exactly where the vale ideology came from, but realize that it is a huge part of the belief systems of many in the Pagan community. And what about  2012 and the Mayan Prophecies? Do we really understand them well enough that we may definitively suggest that they pertain to an Eschatological view, and not just an ancient Y2K?  Are these not just different ways in which we may perceive a single event horizon?

I found a unique reference in the following link, and here is the attached quote:

"In pagan eschatology the world, or parts of it, comes under threat, even. threat of annihilation, and it is the gods who can either provoke it or prevent it..."

Neil Gaiman, in Good Omens, the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, explores this concept through the Christian realms of angelic and demonic choirs. At this he proposes that the ineffable plan runs so deep that not even the prominent players really know why they believe as they do, only that 'that's the way its always been' or 'that's simply the way it is'. Everyone is expected to play a role in making, destroying, and remaking the world. This point has also been emphasized by the character of The Architect, in The Wachowski Bros' Matrix Reloaded. Unfortunately for Morpheus, his prophecy of deliverance from the war with the machines would only have lead to a reinitializing of a sequence never meant to give humanity a chance.

This turned out a bit longer than I had expected. I am looking for feedback on the questions posed in the first paragraph. Curious what people think.

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Current Location: STL, MO, US
Current Mood: restless restless
Current Music: Depeche Mode - Lilian

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Last night I was messaged by a fellow Sumerian enthusiast, who introduced me to a group designed for people interested in scholarly study of Sumerian/Babylonian mythology, folklore, linguistics, etc. This is really great for me b/c for a while I have been unable to find any decent conversations or subjects revolving around this area of study. Having been long interested in Sumerian/Babylonian magic and religions and also having recently felt an attraction to studying more in depth Mesopotamian mysteries, it couldn't have come at a better time. Thank you Tiamat!

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Current Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
Current Music: Smashing Pumpkins - Soot & Stars

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Orpheus believed something akin to a musical scale or soundex that corresponded to a celestial order which was termed the music of the spheres. Music is a huge influence in my life. It can lift me up or bring me low. Even music I don't like has its own inherent value. I have noticed that there's a certain kind of influence that music has over the human mind - not so much the whole "music soothes the savage beast", but a bit more intrinsic than that. It has been used to help bring minds to a focal point in meditation, spellcraft, or past life regressions. It inspires art and literature, and aids in studies. There have even been studies done that suggest that classical music, for instance, increases brainwave activity in the developing fetus, long before said fetus is legally designated or defined as a human life.

The majority of music I prefer for meditation or spellwork tends to include chants, drummings, darkwave, gothic, techno or electronica; from blues to disco, from jazz to death metal - depending on my goals. It is a varied, eclectic mix. For the most part I cannot stand rap, but can't ignore that rap has its own energy that could offer a good deal of energy and power for the urban practitioner.

I was at a college-oriented homecoming dance one year with a few friends and was actually disgusted at the choice of music. But as I sat, nursing my coffee, I shut my eyes and began to feel energised by the sounds that had filled the room. It was loud, booming, and scratchy, but there was something about the energy that came from that sound that I couldn't quite explain. Itr reminded me of the myriad sensations I experience when I run a varied playlist at home. As I mentioned in the previous post, sometimes we need to learn about certain types of experiences or learn from them. The energy evoked through playing select genres can help us to recognize or hone into such experiences.

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Current Mood: sleepy sleepy
Current Music: The Cruxshadows - VtM

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I came across this several years ago. Night magic appeared to have been designed after a Wiccan structure, which I didn't care for very much with its emphasis on specific material tools to help the practitioner train their focus on the work at hand. What I did like about it was how it combined draconian/dragon mythologies, taoist dualism, and its use of sigils. Night magic though, should not be confused with Nocturnal magic. Night magic, for those unfamiliar, recognizes and associates yin energy with ancient draconic forces, and acknowledges a mediator called the oversoul that stands between man and the universe, who serves as an internal guide. Nocturnal, however, deals more closely with the night, and night energy. More information resides here.

I found that it helped immensely with energy work and helped me to focus more closely on sigils and in drafting personal sigils as well. I picked up Carroll's book Liber Null & Psychonaut much later, and found myself reflecting on Night Magic when reading Carroll's book.

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Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: Christian Death - Nazi Killer

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In Experimentalism As A Pagan Craft  I explored a division within the Pagan community between people who "play it safe" versus those who aren't afraid to embrace and live their experiences, and their magical study. It was something I spotted in different occult forums where topics about illusory entities such as Cthulhu were considered a taboo. Which is highly ironic, considering that for magicians, and dark pagans in particular, nothing should be taboo. If we don't wish to pursue particular approaches or studies, that's our decision, but we should be openminded enough to discuss it with others in the community or others of like mind, and not be so willing to dismiss what others have to say - no matter how "far out" it may sound.

This is the main reason why I value the study of chaos, because to the chaote, nothing is too sacred.  When we consider what the hermeticists were willing to do to further their studies during the late medieval and early renaissance periods, it makes us look practically pathetic. We tend to get caught up in how we define reality from illusion, and sometimes seem to be fearful of what working within illusory constructs might suggest about us in general. Fictional characters can capture the experience of an essence that we may seek to learn from, or an experience that we need in our lives. If we are unwilling to go the distance for an experience that will enhance our perceptions, how can we consider ourselves devoted to anything in the modern age?

Being magicians in the modern age, we should focus on embracing the symbols of our time and testing them on ourselves. Sometimes we may resonate with symbols of ages past, and respond more positively to things that may hold greater illusory value. Does this mean they are any less potent in our lives? I don't believe so. Adopting the eclectic mantra is part of taking what the universe gave us, and reshaping it as it suits us.

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Current Music: Christian Death - The Serpents Tail

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On my other blog in my original post entitled Full Circle, I highlighted my background influence by the aura of Santeria (since childhood) and how I made my transition from Catholicism to Wicca as a teenager. In my late teens I came to realize that Wicca was no longer moving me forward, and it took several years for me to make a clean break from it. I'm an earth sign, this probably has some bearing on my bond with earth as an element. I was always drawn to Celtic and Sumero-Babylonian religions and mythologies. I also began to feel a pull in different directions: to witchcraft, shamanism, a myriad of different forms of magic, history, mythology and folklore, philosophy, hermeticism, gnosticism, spellcraft, necromancy, chaos. As a grad student I studied philosophy, medieval magic, renaissance magic (names like Ficino, Bruno, Agrippa, Fludd), as well as religion and the social and intellectual histories of 19th century society (Mesmer, Levi, Kardec). Incorporating all of this together, in addition to some new age concepts has helped me to form a more flexible way of looking at magic - which is why I often refer to The Late Hour Light  as my theoretical/experimental blog.

My major point of reverence is usually aimed at the Universe, and I tend to focus an awful lot on chaos and order as a few of the gossamer threads that hold everything together (kinda like duct tape).

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Current Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
Current Music: DJ Shadow - Devil's Advocate

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Numerology, the belief that numbers may portend important circumstances in our lives is more than just the musings of a new age insanity. Although a construct with which we've learned to symbolize something collectible or counted for centuries, they do take on a deeper meaning for the psyche. People relate to different kinds of stimuli, one of which is numbers. Any major magical practice with numbers may be looked upon as any other symbol. Symbols in this regard act as the focal point for directing energy while piercing through the object - after a time reactions form towards specific sequences of numbers. There is some level of similitude with magic involving numbers, and scrying.

Magic Squares

One of the most potent uses of numbers in magic has been through magic squares, not unlike the modern day sudoku games. The rules may differ slightly, but the format is essentially the same. Strangely, the science behind a magic square is based on a triplicity of principles. In a magic square, probably based on mathematical theories of perfect squares, the numbers in horizontal, vertical and diagonal slots add up to the same sum. The triplicated sum resonates to its own frequency, producing a vibrational affect from the position and layout of the entire numeric puzzle.

Numerology on the Internet

Differing sites draw attention to the first ten numbers, or only focus on double digits, while others still incorporate a belief that this kind of resonance is also significant in repeated digits in sets of threes or fours. The most common numeric event in reference today is 11:11, which has developed quite a following in the new age community.

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Current Music: Killing Joke - Love Like Blood

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A few months ago I began putting together information for a website. I wanted a Pagan-oriented website that didn't rehash the same kind of information that is already on the net 10-fold, but was an amalgamation of my views on different elements of my own Eclectic practice. I find that using websites is almost passe for the kind of material I want to provide, and because of this, thought a blog would be a more organized way of presenting it.

Serpentine Spiral, an allegory of the search for the omnipresent source through inner reflection and the yin of the soul. Since I view dragons as being wholly representative of the inner chasm, or void, it is through this symbolism that I express my understanding of my own spirituality. This is not a new denomination, just a series of viewpoints from an Eclectic Pagan. The material found in these pages doesn't concern correspondences, moon cycles, dates and times associated with astrological houses, crystal meanings or god and goddess symbolism. They are expressions built upon a core of theory and experience.

Current Music: Type O Negative - VtM

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I spent the day sorting blogs and thinking about just what I want to do with the rest of my life. The real serious blow came after I graduated. I realized I had too many things on my mind that I didn't know how to go about each of them. So I decided to slow down for a while. I used to have an LJ but have sort of let it lapse over time. Fully aware that there is a good degree of Pagan groups and members in LJ, decided to get a new acct, to try to connect with other pagans both locally and abroad. I realized that I would actually like to contribute something to the community, but since I often don't jive with physical groups, decided the web would be a good starting point.

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Current Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: Icon of Coil - Former Self

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