featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (life is amazing)
First, Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium. A gallery of tats based in maths and sciences. There are some really lovely taxonomies here, and a couple of applications of sigil magick based on circuitry, for [livejournal.com profile] druidevo and you other people what like that sort of thing.

Second, Tools for Photography as Ritual Magic. The artist creates a unique pinhole camera for each of his photographic series, including totemic elements related to the subject of the series. Among his cameras are one built with an 'underwater' filter containing an altar to Yemaya, two which include human skulls as part of the works, one made with a piece of girder from the World Trade Center, and one which uses a solution of HIV-positive blood as a filter.

Third, and most mundane, I like to play Scrabble, and one can play Scrabble over the internet with a ranking and ratings system here. If you would like to play with me, look me up. My name over there is Orbiting. After two games, I am rated at 666. :)
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
First, Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium. A gallery of tats based in maths and sciences. There are some really lovely taxonomies here, and a couple of applications of sigil magick based on circuitry, for [livejournal.com profile] druidevo and you other people what like that sort of thing.

Second, Tools for Photography as Ritual Magic. The artist creates a unique pinhole camera for each of his photographic series, including totemic elements related to the subject of the series. Among his cameras are one built with an 'underwater' filter containing an altar to Yemaya, two which include human skulls as part of the works, one made with a piece of girder from the World Trade Center, and one which uses a solution of HIV-positive blood as a filter.

Third, and most mundane, I like to play Scrabble, and one can play Scrabble over the internet with a ranking and ratings system here. If you would like to play with me, look me up. My name over there is Orbiting. After two games, I am rated at 666. :)
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (liquor is quicker)
I've been reading The Haitian Vodou Handbook. I occasionally tell people that I know exactly as much about Afro-Caribbean religion as would fit in my left boot, and almost all of that boot-ful is about Santeria. So I know practically nothing at all about voodoo. But it's crushingly interesting, so I'm pursuing it.

So I'm reading and the author is saying that each practitioner "has" some spirits and it will be easy for them to work with those spirits, but if you don't "have" a spirit, then it will be hard for you to work with that spirit, or the spirit might ignore you entirely. Now, in Santeria, you have an orisha (or maybe two) who have your head, and that orisha is your sort of spiritual parent and chief ally, and the way to tell who rules your head is to get a divination done. I don't know if there's a similar trick to it in voodoo - the author sort of says, yes, you could have a divination to see what spirits you have, but most people don't have access to that, so you kind of just have to know. So I was pondering that before going to sleep last night.

Now, I'm a dreamer. I'm really good at it. So of course, I had a dream in which my grandfather came to visit me, and brought along a fairly forbidding, sinister-feeling person (I seem to be unable to remember any details about this person - my brain slides right over them). So, anyway. In this dream, my grandfather says he has something to tell me, but he tells me that he can't talk about it yet. We have to get away from the other person and he can tell me. So we climb up this ladder to a painter's bench, and the sinister person is left below, and I'm like, "Okay, what is it?". He leans over and says, conspiratorially, "There's a reason you like whisky." I say, "And that is?". He winks, and climbs down the ladder, leaving me alone.

We're very funny in my family. :) Because, you know, I have no problem at all identifying whisky as a spirit I have. I'm just sayin'.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
I've been reading The Haitian Vodou Handbook. I occasionally tell people that I know exactly as much about Afro-Caribbean religion as would fit in my left boot, and almost all of that boot-ful is about Santeria. So I know practically nothing at all about voodoo. But it's crushingly interesting, so I'm pursuing it.

So I'm reading and the author is saying that each practitioner "has" some spirits and it will be easy for them to work with those spirits, but if you don't "have" a spirit, then it will be hard for you to work with that spirit, or the spirit might ignore you entirely. Now, in Santeria, you have an orisha (or maybe two) who have your head, and that orisha is your sort of spiritual parent and chief ally, and the way to tell who rules your head is to get a divination done. I don't know if there's a similar trick to it in voodoo - the author sort of says, yes, you could have a divination to see what spirits you have, but most people don't have access to that, so you kind of just have to know. So I was pondering that before going to sleep last night.

Now, I'm a dreamer. I'm really good at it. So of course, I had a dream in which my grandfather came to visit me, and brought along a fairly forbidding, sinister-feeling person (I seem to be unable to remember any details about this person - my brain slides right over them). So, anyway. In this dream, my grandfather says he has something to tell me, but he tells me that he can't talk about it yet. We have to get away from the other person and he can tell me. So we climb up this ladder to a painter's bench, and the sinister person is left below, and I'm like, "Okay, what is it?". He leans over and says, conspiratorially, "There's a reason you like whisky." I say, "And that is?". He winks, and climbs down the ladder, leaving me alone.

We're very funny in my family. :) Because, you know, I have no problem at all identifying whisky as a spirit I have. I'm just sayin'.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Mona Ogg)
World Orgasm Day to Promote Peace in War-Torn Countries

Oui! Si! Da! Ja! Yes!
Any way you scream it, one group hopes you'll be having an orgasm in the name of world peace this Friday at 6:08 GMT.At the exact moment of the winter solstice, the world is urged to get busy at the second annual Global Orgasm for World Peace.

People across the world — but especially in countries with "weapons of mass destruction and places where violence is used in place of medication" — are being asked to synchronize their orgasms, according to the group's Web site.

This group session of sexual healing, aka The Big O, is designed to be an "instantaneous surge of human biological, mental and spirtual energy" that organizers hope will reduce levels of violence, hatred and fear around the world during this, the longest night of the year.

Global Orgasm is the brain child of Donna Sheehan and Paul Reffell, co-founders of the anti-war organization Baring Witness, a group of activists who strip to make public peace displays with their naked bodies.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
World Orgasm Day to Promote Peace in War-Torn Countries

Oui! Si! Da! Ja! Yes!
Any way you scream it, one group hopes you'll be having an orgasm in the name of world peace this Friday at 6:08 GMT.At the exact moment of the winter solstice, the world is urged to get busy at the second annual Global Orgasm for World Peace.

People across the world — but especially in countries with "weapons of mass destruction and places where violence is used in place of medication" — are being asked to synchronize their orgasms, according to the group's Web site.

This group session of sexual healing, aka The Big O, is designed to be an "instantaneous surge of human biological, mental and spirtual energy" that organizers hope will reduce levels of violence, hatred and fear around the world during this, the longest night of the year.

Global Orgasm is the brain child of Donna Sheehan and Paul Reffell, co-founders of the anti-war organization Baring Witness, a group of activists who strip to make public peace displays with their naked bodies.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (not this not that)
Back home now. Trying to dig my way out of my office.

Feri camp was kind of a wild ride. I was totally the odd-kid-out at the single-tradition gathering, but I think I ought to be used to that by now. Also, I think I ought to come up with some sort of pithy thing to say when people ask me what kind of pagan I am. My speech lasts way, way too long, and people start to get this glazed-over look.

There's more postin' to come on some of this, but here's the short version of "While I was away:"
- I was in three states I had not set foot in before.
- I met a lot of really cool people, some of whom I have added as lj-friends, some of whom don't have ljs and some of whom have lj names that are still running around in the wilds of my brain and will no doubt emerge later.
- I met some interesting gods... did you know they have a god who is the third thing arising out of a bird energy/snake energy synthesis? I didn't. But I'm in favor of it!
- I went to hell and came back in a little under an hour. Took Jesus three days. New world record! (blasphe-meee! blasphe-you! blashphe-everybody in the room!)

Did you miss me?
Did anything neat happen when I was gone?
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Back home now. Trying to dig my way out of my office.

Feri camp was kind of a wild ride. I was totally the odd-kid-out at the single-tradition gathering, but I think I ought to be used to that by now. Also, I think I ought to come up with some sort of pithy thing to say when people ask me what kind of pagan I am. My speech lasts way, way too long, and people start to get this glazed-over look.

There's more postin' to come on some of this, but here's the short version of "While I was away:"
- I was in three states I had not set foot in before.
- I met a lot of really cool people, some of whom I have added as lj-friends, some of whom don't have ljs and some of whom have lj names that are still running around in the wilds of my brain and will no doubt emerge later.
- I met some interesting gods... did you know they have a god who is the third thing arising out of a bird energy/snake energy synthesis? I didn't. But I'm in favor of it!
- I went to hell and came back in a little under an hour. Took Jesus three days. New world record! (blasphe-meee! blasphe-you! blashphe-everybody in the room!)

Did you miss me?
Did anything neat happen when I was gone?
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Uncle Al)

Your Score: The Thelemite


You scored 50 Materialism and 90 Phenomenology!


"For there are no Gods but Man"-Aleister Crowley
That sure doesn't stop you from communing with them. You are the Thelemite, committed to the Western occult tradition of Spare, the Golden Dawn, Crowley etc. Though you lead a life of elaborate ritual, you realize that truth and falsehood in this ritual are irrelevant distinctions: the only thing that matters is what works.
Now if you just loosen up a bit, you could cross the Chasm of Choronzon.
Thinkers you may agree with: Osman Spare, Aleister Crowley, Robert Anton Wilson
Thinkers that may challenge you: Phil Hine, Peter Carroll

Link: The Metaphysician Test written by Jaylhomme on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

For the record, I <3 Phil Hine. Of course, I am also very fond of Wilson, Spare, and even Uncle Al, at least when he's being funny. I read Crowley with the assumption that the more serious he appears to be when making a statement, the more likely it is that the statement is bullshit. The ones to watch are the ones where he appears to be making a joke. I grant that this is totally an artifact of how I think about humor in the world, but hey, it's really been working for me so far. Also, I find the word 'Thelemite' to be inherently funny. Not just because it's a close-rhyme with 'catamite', either.

(Note: I removed a big picture of Crowley from these quiz results. He was wearing an extremely embarrassing hat.)
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)

Your Score: The Thelemite


You scored 50 Materialism and 90 Phenomenology!


"For there are no Gods but Man"-Aleister Crowley
That sure doesn't stop you from communing with them. You are the Thelemite, committed to the Western occult tradition of Spare, the Golden Dawn, Crowley etc. Though you lead a life of elaborate ritual, you realize that truth and falsehood in this ritual are irrelevant distinctions: the only thing that matters is what works.
Now if you just loosen up a bit, you could cross the Chasm of Choronzon.
Thinkers you may agree with: Osman Spare, Aleister Crowley, Robert Anton Wilson
Thinkers that may challenge you: Phil Hine, Peter Carroll

Link: The Metaphysician Test written by Jaylhomme on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

For the record, I <3 Phil Hine. Of course, I am also very fond of Wilson, Spare, and even Uncle Al, at least when he's being funny. I read Crowley with the assumption that the more serious he appears to be when making a statement, the more likely it is that the statement is bullshit. The ones to watch are the ones where he appears to be making a joke. I grant that this is totally an artifact of how I think about humor in the world, but hey, it's really been working for me so far. Also, I find the word 'Thelemite' to be inherently funny. Not just because it's a close-rhyme with 'catamite', either.

(Note: I removed a big picture of Crowley from these quiz results. He was wearing an extremely embarrassing hat.)
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Portrait)
We picked up our rings yesterday, yay! And, extra special bonus: Both of my rings fit, despite the fact that I forgot which hand I'd ordered the first ring for, and had to guess about which hand to order the second ring for.

With that delightful announcement out of the way, I have a (completely unrelated) challenge for myself:
On our trip back from Denver, I told [livejournal.com profile] kittenpants about E-prime, a variant of the English language in which a speaker or writer cannot use any form of 'to be' - no 'is', 'was', 'will be', or related construction has a place. This forces a writer to use an active voice (which also implies that a writer cannot hide the actor in a sentence -- if you need something, you have to say "I need this" rather than "this is needed" and so on). It also clears up some linguistic entanglements and forces a speaker to separate traits/conditions from behaviour (i.e. you can't say "John is an asshole", but you can say "John said rude things to me on the phone again").

I had the habit of speaking and writing in E-prime for quite a while, but have drifted away from it in the last year or two. I find that training myself to think in E-prime has a positive effect on my magical practice (and on the clarity of my communication in general), so it seemed like a good idea to try and go back to it.

So I think that for the next thirty days or so, at least, I will try to use E-prime for all my writing. I find it more difficult to do it speaking, so I will also practice that, but don't want to set a firm goal about it. I trust that you lot will point out where I fail, won't you?

EDIT: I do, of course, except fiction from this challenge, as I have spent enough time polishing that style that I don't want to lose it. I also except Balderdash answers, since apparently people already try to guess the answer by determining which answer they think I wrote, and I hate to make things too easy. :)

EDIT: Thanks to the people who caught me screwing up *my example*. I have gotten so far out of the habit of this that I totally missed it. Sheesh.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
We picked up our rings yesterday, yay! And, extra special bonus: Both of my rings fit, despite the fact that I forgot which hand I'd ordered the first ring for, and had to guess about which hand to order the second ring for.

With that delightful announcement out of the way, I have a (completely unrelated) challenge for myself:
On our trip back from Denver, I told [livejournal.com profile] kittenpants about E-prime, a variant of the English language in which a speaker or writer cannot use any form of 'to be' - no 'is', 'was', 'will be', or related construction has a place. This forces a writer to use an active voice (which also implies that a writer cannot hide the actor in a sentence -- if you need something, you have to say "I need this" rather than "this is needed" and so on). It also clears up some linguistic entanglements and forces a speaker to separate traits/conditions from behaviour (i.e. you can't say "John is an asshole", but you can say "John said rude things to me on the phone again").

I had the habit of speaking and writing in E-prime for quite a while, but have drifted away from it in the last year or two. I find that training myself to think in E-prime has a positive effect on my magical practice (and on the clarity of my communication in general), so it seemed like a good idea to try and go back to it.

So I think that for the next thirty days or so, at least, I will try to use E-prime for all my writing. I find it more difficult to do it speaking, so I will also practice that, but don't want to set a firm goal about it. I trust that you lot will point out where I fail, won't you?

EDIT: I do, of course, except fiction from this challenge, as I have spent enough time polishing that style that I don't want to lose it. I also except Balderdash answers, since apparently people already try to guess the answer by determining which answer they think I wrote, and I hate to make things too easy. :)

EDIT: Thanks to the people who caught me screwing up *my example*. I have gotten so far out of the habit of this that I totally missed it. Sheesh.
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
And the heavens parted, and there were a number of explanations given for the whole "Eko, eko, Azerak" thing. (One player did also submit the explanation that I like best for a 'real' answer, but I'll hold that until the end of the round...)

Please read the answers below, and choose the one you like the best. Each vote an answer gets is a point for its author. There is no 'right' answer among these, so no points for guessing correctly.

Ready? Go!
The answers, now with 100% less muppet-sex. )
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
And the heavens parted, and there were a number of explanations given for the whole "Eko, eko, Azerak" thing. (One player did also submit the explanation that I like best for a 'real' answer, but I'll hold that until the end of the round...)

Please read the answers below, and choose the one you like the best. Each vote an answer gets is a point for its author. There is no 'right' answer among these, so no points for guessing correctly.

Ready? Go!
The answers, now with 100% less muppet-sex. )
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
While I'm waiting for printouts before the Road Trip, here's the next round of LJ-Balderdash.

In British Traditional Wicca, rituals sometimes include a piece of poetry called the Witches' Rune. The Witches' Rune begins with the two lines "Eko, eko Azarak, eko eko Zomelak." What do these lines mean, where do they come from, and who or what are Azerak and Zomelak? (Your answers may address one or more of the parts of the question.)


This is the Make Shit Up part of the round. Please submit your answers between now and Monday morning. Answers will be screened.

There will be no 'correct' answer in this round, as your humble correspondent has put some research into this question and has been given any number of 'correct' answers, none of which were any more verifiable than any of the others. So if you think you know, you can go ahead and give the answer you think is right.

OK? Go!
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
While I'm waiting for printouts before the Road Trip, here's the next round of LJ-Balderdash.

In British Traditional Wicca, rituals sometimes include a piece of poetry called the Witches' Rune. The Witches' Rune begins with the two lines "Eko, eko Azarak, eko eko Zomelak." What do these lines mean, where do they come from, and who or what are Azerak and Zomelak? (Your answers may address one or more of the parts of the question.)


This is the Make Shit Up part of the round. Please submit your answers between now and Monday morning. Answers will be screened.

There will be no 'correct' answer in this round, as your humble correspondent has put some research into this question and has been given any number of 'correct' answers, none of which were any more verifiable than any of the others. So if you think you know, you can go ahead and give the answer you think is right.

OK? Go!
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Baphomet...who?)
Today, my how-to of the day (courtesy of Google) is How to use your iPod as a tarot deck. I haven't got an iPod, of course, but the concept is entertaining enough to me that I want to play with it.

The core of the exercise is this: Assign a song to each card in a 78-card tarot deck (the original poster is using a Rider-Waite style, but one imagines that the Thoth and its descendents would work just as well). The original poster's playlist is here.

I'll probably drop my complete list in a post in a few days. For now, there are some possibilities floating about in my brain. If you were to compile such a list, what might be on it?

EDIT: Also, [attention whore] Love me! [/whore]
featherynscale: Schmendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn (Default)
Today, my how-to of the day (courtesy of Google) is How to use your iPod as a tarot deck. I haven't got an iPod, of course, but the concept is entertaining enough to me that I want to play with it.

The core of the exercise is this: Assign a song to each card in a 78-card tarot deck (the original poster is using a Rider-Waite style, but one imagines that the Thoth and its descendents would work just as well). The original poster's playlist is here.

I'll probably drop my complete list in a post in a few days. For now, there are some possibilities floating about in my brain. If you were to compile such a list, what might be on it?

EDIT: Also, [attention whore] Love me! [/whore]

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