Mundane Momentum As Magickal Means

2015/08/15

Despite how many people neglect it, it’s no secret that magick works best with mundane support. The cliché example of the job hunt is true: you can enchant for a job all you want, but if you don’t put out resumes then you’re not going to get anything.

I’ve been experiencing the flip side of this recently. Essentially that mundane action creates its own magickal support. (I’ve had this happen before, but the last few weeks have been fairly evident)

Warning: Lots of useless information about my finances to make a point.

I’ve recently taken a hard look at my finances. Despite having a good job and paying down my credit cards with every paycheque it didn’t look like I was getting anywhere. I didn’t use my cards for much, but alas I created a fair amount of debt with them in order to survive university. I’ve done the occasional enchantment for financial boosts when I needed something, but I was at this status quo.

I realized if I wanted to make any headway I really needed to sort out my finances. So I did all the boring stuff: I figured out all my monthly bills and figured out how much out of each paycheque to put aside to cover them, I investigated my credit cards to see what mistakes I was making there, I looked into what my banking fees were, etc.

Now, I’m pretty good with finances, despite my debt I’m still better off financially and in far less debt than most of my peers, but still have too much for my liking. My credit cards were my biggest problem. Even though I was paying them down my problem was I was still using them. I’d pay off X amount, but then would put 40% back on buying groceries. Small occasional purchases every few weeks was another 10-20% back on. Between my reoccurring expense of my groceries, and my occasional purchases, in reality I was paying off far less per paycheque when I thought. To make this worse is interest, so by using my card for groceries, when it’s carrying a several hundred dollar balance, my interest really added up. So in the end I’d estimate that only a third of every payment actually paid down my debt. It’s no wonder I didn’t seem to get anywhere, I was taking three steps forward and two steps back.

Realizing that error, I decided to switch to cash purchases, and other than automated payments that need to be on my credit card, such as my cell phone, I’d stick to a cash only policy (or cheque or debit when applicable, but 95% cash). I also realized my credit card was charging me a security premium that I didn’t need, adding an extra $15-20 a month to my interest. So I got that cancelled.

I’ve been using two different banks for over a decade. One has high savings interest, low credit card interest without annual fees, and no fees (Bank A), the other has alright interest, but a lot of fees (Bank B). B was more convenient at the time, but online banking means A is just as convenient now.

So I started switching all my stuff over to Bank A, the good one. I paid off my one credit card, and transferred the balance of the second one (which also has a low introductory rate which helps), and as of this afternoon I have cancelled all of my accounts with the more expensive bank. (Which was a fun web of stupidity I won’t relate here)

This is a lot of useless financial prattle, I get it, but I wanted folks to get a sense of what I was looking at, and what I was doing, rather than just saying “I started managing my finances better, and making better choices.”

Back to the point I made at the beginning. In the few weeks I’ve been organizing and fixing all of this I haven’t had time for financial magic, but oddly I haven’t needed it. As soon as I started getting my shit in order it seemed like reality wanted to help. The government reassessed my taxes (for the third time this financial year) and realized they owed me $200 and sent that over. My etsy store picked up a bit, some new sorcery jobs came in, and just last week due to some financial manipulation thanks to my boss’s boss and the oddity of how my pay is calculated he got me 12 hours pay for 40 minutes of work as a thanks for doing 40 minutes of BS work on a holiday.

It was as if once I got the mundane momentum going, the rest of the world chipped in. Now I won’t say this is a result of just doing the physical mundane stuff, if I could be so bold I’d say it’s a result of all my spiritual and magick stuff. My life is more connected to the flux and flow of the world around me, I’m steeped in the shifts of energy and the domain of spirits. Just as I react to the ebbs and flows of the world, I guess the world is reacting to mine. My spirits saw what I was doing, and assisted, or my actions set out a “vibration” into the world causing the change I needed. That sound woogity and mystic enough?

That magickal attunement you develop with the world works both ways.

As much as I advocate planning, tactically aiming your magick, and setting up mundane strategies and support, don’t hold off on action in favour of setting up your magick. You can always figure out ways to enchant for something after its set in motion, but you can’t retroactively take action. Don’t wait to act, set the world in motion, and magick to support as you go.

I maintain the understanding systems is an important part of magick, and in this case it seems as if the understanding the systems led to its own magickal support.

Remember that as we delve deeper into the spiritual spheres we make allies, we become connected to things, and sometimes we don’t need to do any more magick than mundanely setting something into motion. It’s like the Cosmos sees “Oh, you’re willing to actually do the work around this now? Let me give you a hand.”

Part of bringing this up is I’ve seen people (and I’ve done it myself) put off doing something -job hunting, fixing finances, trying to date, whatever- because they had not yet figured out the best way to enchant around it. (Which I might argue is actually a screen for being afraid of trying and failing) If you’re in that boat, you’re probably better off shutting up, jumping overboard, and then figuring out as you go what you need to do, because you’re not going to get anything done waiting to figure out how to magick yourself to the ends you want.

Who knows, if you’re lucky, have allies on your side, and are in tune with your world, than handling the mundane shit in your life can actually be the magickal act that calls aid to help you do just that.


Black Mountain of Fire

2015/08/11

There are a variety of simple methods of establishing authority and focus within a place before a magickal working. Some traditions call it Centring, though to others that’s more of an energy work technique unrelated. It’s often a preliminary before banishing or creating space, but they can also be used to do both of those, when the practitioner is competent enough in them. The Qabalistic Cross is a great example of such a technique. (There is more to it than just that though)

It’s an alignment or realignment with the source of your authority, a recollection of your force, and a gathering of power

I wanted to share a method that was given to me by a spirit I work with. I’ve found it has a similarity to a Buddhist practice I’ve found in one ritual thus far (though it may be in more). When I need to establish a sense of stability and confidence within a practice, I will often do this, or a variation of it before hand. I find it is also great for giving my energy body a quick jolt, the energetic equivalent of a warm-up sprint.

It is a series of visualizations tied to breathing. While I mention the in breath and out breath they don’t have to be consecutive, if you need more time to do a visualization or part of the energy work, take it, but make sure when you resume to pick up the breathing pattern at the next step.

Stand or sit in a stable position, take a deep breath in. As you breathe out see yourself as a giant black mountain, a flat dull black like coal. It should be a large visualization, a mountain, but at very least cover the space you’ll be working in. As you take another deep breath in feel yourself as solid as possible, the core of this massive dark mountain, and as you breathe out feel the weight of the mountain pressing down on the Earth. You’re not just resting on the surface of the planet; your mass is pushing down into the planet.

Your in breath is used to stabilize this image, and with your out breath project your mind down into the core of the planet. Feel your awareness shoot down into the centre of the planet until it reaches the core. While the core contains molten rock and metals, you’re looking for an energy that has the sensation of fiery iron. That is actually what you’re trying to connect to, burning molten iron, red iron fire. Try to sense and locate the energy, but if you can’t project out the request, there is something down there that helps, ask for the Iron Fire.

Once you’ve connected to the Iron Fire energy take a fast deep breath in and draw that energy up through the earth, through your central energy column, the centre of the black mountain, and out through the crown of you head and out through the tip of the mountain. It erupts as light from the top of the mountain, the Iron Fire component of the energy being absorbed and transformed within you. The flow and radiance continues regardless of breath, the movement continues from the core of the planet through you into space.

(I’ve found after some time, that the light is actually connecting to a Star above me. Not a real physical star -I assume- but a symbolic star, either a representation of Celestial energy, or perhaps a higher aspect of myself. This star, or the awareness of it, is not required for this technique to function, I mention it as an observation that grew over time.)

As this energy flows up through your mountain body it begins to radiate outward from the centre, as it moves out it transforms the black material into a clear crystal. Eventually you’re left as a large crystal mountain, perfectly clear radiating a beam of light from below out through the top, and radiating a halo of light out through the crystal body. You transform your body from the coal black, to a clear crystal blazing with light.

(From here, if you so desire, you can continue to radiate out in an attempt to clear out the space, though it might take some work to become proficient at that. I find it is more efficient to clear the space normally after the next step, but it can be part of this is you so desire.)

Draw the light back in, up from the core, down from the heavens, in from the world around you, and see the mountain dissolve into your self, your body becoming the radiant crystal.


Lady of the Blood

2015/08/07

Below is a short piece of fiction I wrote five years ago. It is essentially a character test scene to see if I liked the character I had designed and if could write her. Unfortunately I was never happy with the world/plot I wanted to insert her into, so she exists in this scene, and a handful of notes including an astrological chart I worked out for her…because magick geek. As this is a test scene I was a bit heavy in some of the image/descriptions, just trying to see if they could fit the character and scene. The only setting context needed is that is is London at the end of the 1800s or early 1900s. I thought I would share what I have of her though.

Lady of the Blood

The crystal silence shatters with a gentle knock on the mahogany door. “Mrs. Aima?” comes an even gentler voice from outside the study. Turning slightly in the oxblood leather chair before the fireplace to face the door, a voice just as strong as the call was weak answers “You may enter Esther.”

Dim light from the hall’s gas lamps flows into the study as if to battle with the ruddy glow of the fire. A scent of coffee and gravy follow Esther through the door, whatever her reason this visit is interrupting the dinner preparations. Her thin form is accented by her uniform; the white apron tied about her waist clearly demarks her narrow form against the black dress of her station. Though young and thin Esther is not what many men would consider beautiful, she is pretty but much in the way of a wilting lily. This is one of the reasons that Miriam keeps her as a servant, she is pretty enough to serve as a symbol of wealth but not beautiful enough to rival her mistress.

Miriam places a long slender finger in her book to mark her passage, her nail on the line “Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.” Her dark green eyes flow up and lock on Esther, the flickering fire casting dark shadows across her face making her look starved. “Mrs. Aima, sorry to interrupt, but Mr. Weston has arrived, and was asking if he might be able to come speak with you.”

A deep thoughtful breath pushes Miriam’s chest up against the pleating of her black dress. “I was not expecting him to call again so soon.” She places the Marriage of Heaven and Hell beside her, the page forgotten as her hands tug the top of her dress back into order and smoothing down the wrinkles on top of her thighs. “Very well, I shall receive him here in my study if you would please bring him in.” Esther mutters an affirmative and leaves. Miriam barely hears this, her eyes fixing themselves on the flames. The room had grown chill and she had not even noticed. Her delicate arms stretch toward the fireplace, the ruby ring on her left hand catches the light and flames seem to begin to smoulder in the gem. Miriam takes another deep breath, focusing on warming her hands, as a gentle gust down the flue causes the fire to spark and flare up. Her eyes watch the imprisoned flames within her ring, a captive salamander upon her finger.

Another knock breaks her reverie, with just a moment’s pause Esther’s pale hand is seen pushing the large door open. “Mrs. Aima, Mr. Weston for you.” A serpent uncoiling Miriam stands up with an obscene grace, any effort of her body hidden beneath flowing black, her back to the fireplace casting a faint shadow against maid and guest. Mr. Weston looks much as he did before, a suit the grey of a factory wall, a nose too big for a face too thin on a man too short. An awkward sparrow, Miriam thought to herself. Despite his appearance though Mr. Weston was a man to be desired, his role at the bank made him a successful man and more importantly his relative youth compared to his superiors only meant his role would become more important in time.

“Mrs. Aima, a pleasure as always,” Mr. Weston crosses the room with an uncharacteristic boldness. Miriam lifts her hand to her oncoming guest, who places a gentle kiss beside her ring.

“Mr. Weston how good to see you, I wasn’t expecting you so soon.” Her arm reaches toward the leather chairs. “Please take a seat. Would you like some tea? My husband sends me but the finest.”

“Thank you no Ma’am, I do not wish to take too much of your time.” He settles down across from the fireplace as Miriam waves Esther from the room. She notes his lack of decorum and returns to rest in her chair. “I do not know if it is proper to come and see you, you must understand I’m not used to such a –relationship.” As if his mind stumbled upon a great terror the boldness drains from him as does his colour, wringing his hands he looks up with a smile. “Regardless Mrs. Aima I felt I should come and thank you for your services.”

A smile spreads across her garnet lips. “Dear Mr. Weston, it warms my heart to hear it, but you’ve no need to thank me. I have been compensated already, and thanked once before.” Understanding his visit better Miriam sinks into the back of her chair, relaxed and through her knowledge back in control, not that she ever felt without control. Two weeks had passed since their last meeting at that time Mr. Weston had been full of thanks and compliments and paid in full, such a return visit was not unheard of but served little purpose for her business.

Mr. Weston lets his attention be consumed in the fires, speaking from a happy nervous dream space. “I know, I wasn’t sure if it was proper or not, but I was –just so completely happy with how events turned out. I never thought Elisabeth would notice me, let alone love me.” His pale grey eyes break from the fire again filled with nerves “Not to say that I doubted your talents, I’m just so thankful.”

Neither new information nor work would come from this love-struck man today. Miriam stands in a single movement, silent and fluid, and bends to rest a hand atop her guest’s. “No, I understand. I am glad to know you are doing so well, and that my gifts have been appreciated.” Her green eyes lock on his, flowing into him like a gentle stream. “Now though, you said you were in a hurry, and I do thank you for visiting me but I do not wish to hold you up. Please come see me again when you have need of my services.”

Mr. Weston chills as he looks into her eyes. The green of a twilight forest reflecting flames as though on fire themselves, set perfectly on Mrs. Aima round face framed by hair of straight deep red. Lost in her gaze he sees not the birthmark on her forehead, just off to the side, the only imperfection of her beauty. “I am in a rush,” he nods and stands. “Thank you Mrs. Aima, I shall see myself out.” He turns and leaves the study.

Miriam faces the fireplace, her eyes upon the mantel. A single ornament rests on the mahogany shelf, a golden chalice, simple and unadorned yet elegant and beautiful. She runs her fingers against the sloping curve of the golden form, a cacophony of echoing whispers fill her mind. Mistress what do you bid? Mistress may we help? Mistress are you in need? Mistress how shall we serve? Drifting back into her seat she picks up The Marriage of Heaven and Hell once more, having lost her place she opens to her favourite section and begins to reread The Parables of Hell.


Borrowed Pensacola Rant

2015/08/06

Forgive the off schedule post, but with the media stupidstorm about the Pensacola murders I felt it was worth going on about. I could yell and curse about how the Sheriff is an idiot (and I’ve already had friends do that for me), but my audience doesn’t need it. Anyone reading this blog would read the headline about a Wiccan Murder Ritual, and know whoever came up with that phrase is a paragon of stupidity. Instead I wanted to talk about reacting in useful ways, but again, a friend of mine has done so already. Below is a rant from my friend Rob, I believe the only context you need is to know that he is a recent immigrant to the US, and that puts pressure/limitations on his political activities, which he alludes to in the rant.

So here is the thing, and I have to walk a careful line on this one because I would not wish to be seen to be trying to influence the US political system in any way, lately I have been seeing lots of stuff on my friends list about a killing in Florida. This killing has been attributed, inaccurately in my and others opinions, to a particular religion. Many of the folk posting about it share that religion or a religion close to it (or at least close to the general understanding of the faith named). So what are you doing about it?

If this were a mainstream faith such as Catholicism or Islam adherents would be on the phone to their senators, to their local representatives. The station of the officer would have been flooded with calls from people to explain to them why they are wrong, they would probably have received cease and desist letters about defamation and vilification. The officers wouldn’t be able to open their letterboxes without having hundreds of copies of “The truth about Angicanism today” falling out, people would be writing to every major news outlet demanding the war on Christianity be stopped or that vilification of the Islamic faith is not ok.

Where is the outrage that goes beyond the echo chamber? Posting an article about it and adding your own commentary to your own friends or own groups where you know people agree with you…how does this change anything?

Where are the national and state organisations writing letters of complainant and making phone trees happen?

Where is the gofundme for the family of the victims coming explicitly and directly from the community of the faith being accused to show the wider community that if they are going to be associated with this tragedy we want it to be in good way, as people who stepped up to help?

Hell even though it changes nothing where is the change.org petition being pushed to at least create some visibility about the vilification and defamation in the main stream?

Me? What am I doing? I am not allowed to speak up, I am not allowed to try and affect change in this country as part of my conditions for being here. What is YOUR excuse?

Now there is a change.org petition about this. But with all of my friends posting about this, and all the groups I’m a part of, I’ve seen this show up once. I’m in pagan/magickal groups with more members than are currently signed on this petition, where is the action?

Also the Lady Liberty League is approaching the issue and you can follow there updates on facebook.

This seems too much like the Satanic Panic, and way too many shades of the West Memphis Three, and while I like to think the culture in the States has grown past that phase…not all of it has, or the story would have never hit the news like this. Send emails to the news sources, support folks like the Lady Liberty League, do something. It doesn’t have to be huge, but why do nothing? Ignorance and apathy serve the good of no one.


Examining Orgonite

2015/08/03

Recently I was gifted with several pieces of orgonite from a friend of mine. I’ve been curious about orgonite and the assorted orgone tech for a while, but my experiences have been very slim with them.

To back track, if you’re wondering what orgone is, it is a term coined by Wilhelm Reich to more or less refer to a universal form of life energy. Reich was an early psychologist and student of Freud’s and he worked various ideas about energy and energy bodies into his models of psychology. His take on this universal life energy was more mechanistic than what most sorcererous folks are used to, it isn’t about will and belief, but a natural interplay of form and matter. He viewed it more in lines with electricity (in terms of how it operates) than some subtle energy controlled by people.

This led him and those following his ideas to theorize and create mechanical devices meant to manipulate orgone. He felt that organic material attracted orgone, while inorganic material repelled it, and by combining these materials in certain ways you could alter the flow of orgone. There are devices to shoot beams of focused orgone, or to reprogram it, and a variety of things. The simplest is a shooter, which is a hollow tube surrounded by alternating layers of organic and inorganic materials. Polyphanes has done some work with that side of the tech, which you can see here. He theorized that the attraction/repulsion worked somewhat like a maglev or rail gun, drawing in, repelling, attracting, repelling down the line.

Orgonite is one of the later pieces of orgone tech to enter the stage being invented by a couple in 2000. Their idea is that you don’t need the strict layers of organic/inorganic materials, but more a roughly 50/50 balance. Orgonite, rather than being ordered layers is a collection of mostly inorganic material suspended in an organic resin. Orgone is believed to have two main types, positive orgone (usually just called orgone) and dead/ly orgone. From an energy model you could see it as clear energy, and polluted energy. Deadly orgone is supposedly created by lots of things, but most commonly cited are things that disrupt orgone/energy as they understand it, so powerlines, power plants, radio towers, and the like.

Anyways orgonite supposedly gathers in the deadly orgone and transforms it back into positive orgone and releases it. Now since the 2000 creation of orgonite some people have expanded this idea. So rather than just making generic positive orgone, they would make specific frequencies of positive orgone, based upon what went into the orgonite. This is where it sounds like it crosses a bit back into the magickal realm. By using different metals and crystals as the inorganic compound in orgonite the energy released would be tuned to certain things. It might be more of a healing energy, a faster clearing energy, more resonant with the throat chakra, whatever.

So now I have three pieces of orgonite from my friend. Sadly this is a small sample size, but I’ll talk about what I noticed. First off I’ll admit outside of Reich’s armor theories, I don’t give him much credence, yeah, I believe in invisible life energies whirling around us, but his model of such doesn’t totally work for me. Then even looking into the orgon-tech the orgonite doesn’t seem to fit that theory. Reich’s orgone accumulating box was layers of material, shooters are layers of material, everything was about the alternating flow of organic/inorganic. Orgonite has both materials, but they are more haphazardly aligned, there isn’t layers, you have inorganic stuff floating loose in organic medium. It’s seems like mixing all the dough and filling ingredients for a pie in a bowl, rather than making dough, filling, and constructing a pie.

None the less, not buying his theories, and feeling orgonite doesn’t even match those, there is definitely something to the orgonite. I pick it up, and I can feel a buzzing coming from it. Even one of my woogity-accepting but not really perceptive friend was surprised at what he could feel from them.

IMG_20150804_204348The Dragon one has a sense of elevation, to use a standard model, it’s almost as if it is releasing energy that is more attuned to an astral level than a physical one. In fact while holding it it becomes easier to shift my awareness up out of the physical. When it’s “resting” is has a similar sense, but undirected. We all know places where the boundaries might be a touch thin, it feels like that, not majorly, but enough that if you knew what you were looking for, and how to use it, you’d see it.

IMG_20150804_204320The Triskelion feels the most like I’d expect orgonite to feel like. I can’t get a clear bead on if it is programmed a certain way, but what does come out of it seems like it’s been cleaned and stripped down, and is ready to go. I get the sense that it would be good to work with sensitive energy blockages. Sometimes you can tell a blockage is holding the channel open, and if you remove it it would collapse, or it’s holding back too much energy to safely release at once. I could see using this on the person to slowly over an hour or so breakdown and hopefully purify some of the blockage, but it would do it in a way a lot slower and gentler than a person could. Or more accurately, would. I would not want to spend hours slowly removing a blockage from someone, but having them hold/tie the orgonite to the area for that time, that’s not an issue.

IMG_20150804_204402Lastly is the Heart piece. This is my least favourite, and it’s not cause it’s a heart. There is something to this that by body disagrees with, everytime I keep it with me, I feel sick after a while, and I don’t mean a little off, I mean verging on violently ill. I get the sense it’s trying to cleanse me, but the trouble is I’m not the model it’s appropriate for. It’s a cleaner designed for PVC pipes, and I’m lead. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just my body and energy don’t work in a way that is compatible with it. That’s not uncommon for me, there are several energy systems that my body does not like, even after working with Reiki for a decade, when I get Reiki offered to me it bothers my system. Despite not working well for me, I’m really glad I was sent this piece, because it was the first one to give me a clear reaction, it really makes me realize something is going on.

Something very odd I noticed about all of them though, is that I can’t meditate when in contact with them. I’ve taken each of them to temple with me, a few times, and decided as a way of passively exploring what they do, I’d meditate with them, and see what happens. Every time I’m meditating with them touching me, I can’t meditate for the life of me, it is as if my monkey mind was given a PCP-laced banana. I was almost completely unable to bring my attention where it should, and it would run off faster, more violently, and farther than it does under any other circumstance. I have no idea and no good theories on why, it is just an observation.

My last observation, is that I suspect orgonite doesn’t work, at least not as the theory posits it. I’ve tried following the way the energy moves in them, what happens, I’ve tried looking at the whole, and at parts, and from a mechanical perspective I can’t see how or why it works. If I step out of the orgone model though, it seems rather simple: orgonite is a talisman. I know a lot of orgone-followers prefer to look at their stuff as more scientific/mechanical than magick, but it’s a blurry line at times. Here is the thing though, orgonite contains a quartz crystal to direct the energy, then is surrounded by other stones and metals which change the energy “frequency.” This is not dissimilar from any for more crystal/metal magick, save the suspension in organic resin. Most of our traditions have us use this metal because it does this, this crystal cause it connects to that, and I think the orgonite is doing the same. When the orgonite is completed, it’s charged, in this case my friend’s husband gives it some reiki to get it going. Also when my friend makes them she is guided by her intuition on what metals and stones to use, and my cursory reading on the subject shows that’s fairly common. Also this sounds like it is more or less making a basic talisman.

So as much as I respect my friend, I feel I have to disagree with her premise in believing in orgonite. I feel she’s actually making a magickal talisman. It’s not so much about the ratios of the materials and the way they interact, but more about their sympathies, and how she connects them, and gets them going. I suspect that orgonite would function just as well if it used an inorganic medium instead of organic, but that’s just a practical ingredient, the nuts and bolts are the metals, gems, and energy involved in their creation.

Now, again I’ll say, there is definitely something too the pieces. They work, they have a noticeable charge, they’re doing things. I just disagree on the mechanics on /how/ they work. That being said I think the idea of using the orgonite method would be fascinating to tap in terms of talisman creation. I could suspend crystals, metals, and herbs in specific simple patterns and seal them in resin to later consecrate. It’s definitely something I’ll be thinking more about.

I can’t say for sure, and will experiment more, but that’s my current standing on orgonite.


Review: Legend of Zelda Tarot

2015/07/30

Legend of Zelda Tarot – Britt Hoyer
2013

I know this will come as a shock to many, but I’m a huge geek. Now that you’ve recovered from the surprise I’ll continue with my review.

lozt3As soon as I found out there was a Legend of Zelda Tarot I had to buy it, I didn’t care it if was good, if it was true to the historical tarot system, I just knew I needed to possess it, and I haven’t been disappointed.

The Legend of Zelda Tarot is a fan made project, not an officially licensed Nintendo product. It is based off the Coleman-Smith tarot, but illustrated with characters and themes from the Legend of Zelda.

Each Suit, and the Majors, draws their imagery from another game in the Legend of Zelda series. The Major Arcana draws from Ocarina of Time, and Majora’s Mask, Rupees (Pentacles) are based on A Link Between Worlds, Swords are based on Skyward Sword, Bottles (Cups) are based on Wind Waker, and Wands are based on Twilight Princess. These suits match the games fairly well, and artistically it is very interesting to see the variation in styles, the more cartoonish Bottles compared to the more realistic Majors, or the styling of the Swords. It is especially interesting when the same character (Zelda or Link) is illustrated on several cards to match the styles of the games.

lozt1The art is amazing, it’s not just a matter of matching images, Hoyer has done an excellent job of illustrating the characters into new roles. She has also done a great job of “translating” the images and symbols. In a few cases I feel a detail was missed in favour of the Zelda themes, but over all these can be overlooked, and require some shifts in how a card is read. For instance the Lovers card has the two lovers looking at each other, which changes the dynamic and meaning of the card. Or for a symbolic miss on the Wheel of Fortune the four elemental creatures have been replaced with creatures that don’t match elementally. I can’t tell if I’m bothered by the loss of the Elemental/Zodiacal symbolism, or if I should take it as the fact that Hyrule (and the related worlds) are another place, so need their own symbols. Many of her interpretations were brilliant, I’m especially fond of Batreaux as the Nine of Swords, and despite the complaint about the creatures on the Wheel, the card itself is delightfully geeky having both the Four Great Fairies, and TARO-TORA-ROTA written in Hylian (as it appears during the era of Ocarina of Time) around the Wheel.

lozt4There is not an accompanying book, which is understandable, though unfortunate. Though the deck does come with a few cards containing keywords, so those unfamiliar with reading the tarot can at least get a rudimentary sense of the readings until they learn more. The cards themselves are a good card stock, they feel just slightly thinner than standard tarot, but it is hard to say. Also while most tarot decks are printed on flat stock, these cards are printed on card stock with air cushions. (Air cushion is when a card has very slight indents on the surface, when you look at it up close it appears to have almost a canvas/woven appearance.) This makes the deck a lot better for shuffling than most decks, something I actually really appreciate. In terms of production values the only place the deck falls short is the box. The box is made of a thinner stock than the cards, my top flap had been ripped off by the time it reached me (a fluke of packaging, but shows the strength of the material). While this is a point against the deck, to be honest most tarot boxes never last, so the fact this one is more flimsy than most, really isn’t a problem in the long run.

While this deck is a bit niche in the appeal, both to myself and my clients, it is a great deck, and I do plan on working with it. If you’re a tarot reader and a Legend of Zelda fan, then you seriously cannot go wrong with this deck.

I perform a reading whenever I get a new deck, asking it about itself, which I’m going to share now, so you can get a sense of the deck.

What will this deck teach me: Ace of Swords: On a general level, this means the deck will teach me to read with clarity. The deck will teach me to separate what is important from what is not to better understand the situations. Now here we see where the Zelda theme adds another layer. This card is Fi, so for a card about teaching, we’re already off to a humourous start. Fi is one of the many babysitting characters of the series, who teaches you how to do things, and in general guides you through the game. You probably ignore Fi, but call on them when you’re stuck or confused, meaning this deck will teach me to look a bit deeper, to think differently and problem solve.

What is the strength of this deck: Hanged Man: This deck is open, it’s receptive, and it’s easy to work with. By accepting it as it is, it allows me to view things from another perspective. From a Zelda perspective, this card is Sheik, which makes me think the strength of the deck lies in its ability to deceive, not in a malicious sense, but in the sense of being what it needs to be at the time.

What is the weakness of this deck: The Hermit: The meanings of the deck are a bit insular, without knowledge of the series you can’t really get the full depth of the reading. (Though in defense, I’d argue the same goes for the Christian/Golden Dawn imagery in most tarot decks which even many readers are ignorant of.) Zelda-wise the card is Dampé, specifically after he is dead. This strikes me as saying a weakness of the deck is that is isn’t too active, that it will only show you what you’re looking at, meaning you really have to be clear on the questions you’re asking. (Which could relate back to the deck teaching me to look deeper and read with clarity)

Finally I’d like to share a simple spread I created for this deck. Unsurprisingly it is based on the Triforce.

Triforce Spread

triforcetarotspread

This spread is a problem solving spread. It doesn’t give you a sense of the future, which is a good thing because if you’re actively following the advice of the cards and trying to do something, any future it shows you’d be trying to change anyways. You can either use this spread for a specific problem, or for more general advice on where you should direct yourself in your life.

The cards are dealt facing to the centre of the Triforce, so the top of the card is closest to the centre, for the sake of reading reversed cards. The Triforce cards are where you need to apply a trait in your life. The quest of the Hero isn’t about letting things happen, it’s about applying, about doing. So these cards are always about action you need to take. The Goddess cards are gifts you will receive, things that will work in your favour, opportunities to look for, what will help you. The caveat is these will tend to be things that won’t really come along until you’re applying yourself. You have to prove you’re worthy of the gifts.

1: The Centre: The centre of the Triforce represents you, your problem, your situation. It may explain the root of the problem, or why you’re having trouble with it, why you can’t see it clearly.

2: Power: This is where you need to apply Power in your life. This is where you are weak, and you need to apply strength to solve the issues you’re facing. This could be externally, or internally, something you need to confront in the world, or deal with in your self.

3. Wisdom: This is where you need to apply Wisdom in your life. What aren’t you seeing clearly? This is where you’re turning a blind eye, where you aren’t seeing the full picture, where you need to look deeper. This can show where you’re not thinking clearly, or show how you should reframe and rethink about the issue.

4. Courage: This is where you need to apply Courage in your life. This is where you’re holding back, this is where you need to let go and do what needs to be done. What aren’t you facing, what aren’t you addressing? This is not the area where you need to think and plan, this is where you need to go forth and conquer.

5. Din: The gift of Din is the blessing of Power. What support is there for you? What reserves do you have, how will this situation turn to your favour? Is this an opportunity that opens for you, or a treasure you have to grab and use? Where will you find the Power you need to continue?

6. Nayru: The gift of Nayru is the blessing of Wisdom. What will be revealed to you? What knowledge do you have that you can use now? Is this revelation internal, or is the insight brought from elsewhere? What clarity is brought to you, and how does that change your situation?

7. Farore: The gift of Farore is the blessing of Courage. What pushes you forward? What will help you push forward in the tough spots, what keeps you going? Is this a breakthrough in the problem, or support from someone? Is this a never say die attitude, or the renewed courage when you see the armor of your foe crack?

So geeks of the tarot realm, go out, and get The Legend of Zelda Tarot, it’s awesome, fun, and useful.


Rant: Call To Action. Shake The World!

2015/07/26

(Note: I admit, this is a rambly rant, alas without Gordon’s aid of whisky, and unreasonable in some ways, but it’s also true and needs thought.)

Our world is an awesome place, and this is an amazing time to be alive. Our life expectancy is higher than ever, our health and quality of living is on average the best humanity has ever seen. We’re breaking down atoms to find even more building blocks of reality, we’re finding Earth-like planets 1,400 light years away. We’re surrounded by the sum total of human knowledge invisibly streaming past us from computers to satellites to tiny devices in our hands to answer all our questions. This is amazing.

VNV Nation – Nemesis makes a good soundtrack for my thoughts right now.

Four years ago the Conservative Party of Canada rigged an election by misleading registered non-Conservative voters on where to vote, and we’ve had an illegally elected government since then. This government has gutted environmental rights and destroyed huge swaths of a beautiful country; it’s muzzled the media, dismembered support for the scientific and artistic fields, and has shifted Canada away from our role as peace-keeper back towards a military nation.

In the United States gun crime is sky-rocketing to the point where tragic mass-shootings are being run of the mill news stories, there have been over 200 (!) mass shootings in the States this year already. Police corruption and abuse is rising, barely a week goes by without another story about some officer who attacked and killed someone without just cause, and sadly often without even provocation. Despite having a black president racial turmoil is coming to the surface in horrifying ways as the aforementioned mass-shootings, and police brutality are disproportionately focused on the black population.

Greece is on the verge of economic ruin.

DAESH / I.S.I.L. is running through the Near East murdering, raping, and destroying millennias worth of amazing history and threatening entire cultures. (And we still have pagans who seem more upset over the media calling the ISIS than they are about the horrors they are causing)

Globally the rich get richer, and the poor get fucked over. We have the largest wealth disparity in history…and that includes the era of European kingdoms while peasants lived in mud and wood huts. Despite all the progress sexism is making a revitalized stand. Trans-people are being accepted by the media (as long as they’re already famous, and/or beautiful in a heteronormative sense), while trans-people are murdered and harassed by society (and the police). More and more countries are passing pro-same-sex marriage laws, and yet the suicide of queer teenagers seems epidemic. We’re at an ecological tipping point and we might not recover before humanity is eliminated. The world is entering another mass extinction period, and still as a species we slash, burn, and destroy the planet.

This is fucking horrible.

I love this planet. The people on it are amazing beautiful beings.
I hate this planet. The people on it are useless fucking shitbags.

It’s hard to reconcile this. Sometimes when I reach my mind out into the world I feel the beautiful silence of the globe spinning, the waves of force balancing and bouncing back between the heavenly bodies, my mind is stretched between the love and community people have. Other times I reach out and I hear fire and blood, a world screaming, I’m hit by people and gods who are weeping and wailing.

In Vellum and Ink by Hal Duncan, one of the characters is essentially a magickal terrorist-anarchist. He zips through London with his Curzon-Youngblood Mark I chi-gun, blasting orgone bullets through fascist cops, and lobbing jism-laced grenades to distract/destroy the political status quo with intense lust and unstoppable orgies. He fights, becoming a god-demon-hero-villain because he sees the world is wrong, and he has the power to change it…not just the power…the responsibility.

Now obviously that’s fiction, I don’t have a magickal gun that is powered by my tantric control of my life force, but it’s an idea that really hit me when I reread the books recently. Why do so many magickal folks sit on the sidelines?

I strongly advocate for practical magick: stuff to improve your life, move you forward, things with tangible results, and criteria you can confirm or deny. Yet, I cannot and do not deny the mysticism, I didn’t spend months in a temple-closet talking to the wall to achieve communication with my Holy Guardian Asshole because I wanted tangible results, that was mysticism.

Yet with most of us, we do magick that focuses on us, and magick that focuses on the Cosmos, but we miss everything in between.

A year ago DAESH moved into northern Iraq, encroaching on the ancestral home of the Yazidis. In an odd combination of human interest and gruesome voyeurism several news sources started talking about the Yazidis and their persecution, and the fact they were essentially facing extinction. Suddenly out of nowhere people knew about the Yazidi, most knew next to nothing, but they knew they existed. Then in an odd turn I began seeing calls for prays and magick to help save them. Most of the requests and suggestions were based on Western magick (not that there is anything wrong with that, any port in a storm), people making evocations, prayers, Qamea sigils, and the like, things to call upon Melek Tawas, the ultimate angel of the Yazidi religion, and to ask for eir help. Some was authentic, most was created as needed, some was derived from Feri, but it was there. I stepped in, being fairly familiar with the religion, and provided actual prayers and rites from the tradition, and offered up my suggestions.

It was strange, I don’t know what brought the other sorcerers I worked with to the table, but they were committed to trying guerrilla magickal warfare to help the Yazidi. We worked on a variety of things from different angles, persuasion to get the major governments to step in more with evacuation aid, things to obscure and hide the Yazidi as they fled, things to deter DAESH from their pursuit.

I have no idea what good we did, if we influenced anything, or if we were impotently throwing our magickal forces (or just our imaginations) at something far beyond us. 50,000 Yazidi fled, trailed by DAESH militants, only 5,000 were killed. A horrible tragedy, but originally the news was much more dire as they fled up the mountain with no escape, only buying time, a few people predicted none would survive.

Maybe I’m being ridiculous, maybe I’m being unreasonable. But I don’t know why I don’t see this type of action more often.

Make your life better, make your self better, but what about the world? Look at the horrors, what can you do? I’d like to think we’re all doing stuff on mundane levels to help make the world better. That we take opportunities to educate and confront people around transphobia, that we volunteer with those in need, that we protest and petition and pressure our governments to make the right choices. But as always, we’re supposed to be magick workers, and while we’re not out there calling lightning from the sky and working miracles, we are causing change, and if you’re not, you’re not working magick.

Let me repeat that: Like everything in magick, if all you’re doing is magick, you’re not being effective, you should be fighting to make a change on the mundane levels as well, without it you’re just hoping for change, not making it.

Part of this started bubbling up again when Rachel called on us to curse a transphobic preacher. She saw a problem in the world, and wanted to confront it, and whatever she does in her mundane life, she knew she needed to apply magick to the problem. Even if all it resulted in was a magickal standoff of counter-spelling, she saw the fucked up world, and asked us to toss our magick at it.

Why don’t we do this more often? We focus on getting better jobs, more money, and lovers. We focus on skrying the spheres, putting more notches in our black mirror as we try to summon more spirits. Why don’t we focus on the bigger issues. It’s harder for me to believe, the more I realize that my path, and the path of many others, shows the fundamental indivisibility of phenomena, that we’re all connected.

That said, we have to be realistic. We can’t fix everything for everyone. Even the greatest sorcererous miracle workers didn’t save the world, but they shifted it. What happened to their likes? Even John Dee supposedly helped avert a battle with Spain by magickally calling a storm to sink their navy. Magickal journals and literature from the World War II era are littered with people tossing their magick against the Nazis.

Don’t try to fix everything. Pick an issue, pick a strategy, and work on it. We won’t magick our way out of homophobia, but maybe we could protect queer youth until they’re in safer places, and cut the suicide rates. We won’t return cops to a valued and respected position without corruption just by magicking it, but maybe we can make the courts harder on the police brought in on charges of abuse, or make the good cops more able to stand up to corruption. We won’t stop deforestation, but maybe we could move more environmentally minded executives up the ranks, to start shifting policies.

It’s a pipe dream, and it’s unrealistic, but then again, aren’t all great magickal goals? Maybe it will get us no where, or just maybe your hours of effort might save some transwoman’s life, and won’t that make it worth it? Maybe, just maybe, you return some asshole cop to his humanity before he takes a life, and won’t that make it worth it? Maybe, if we’re lucky, you’ll affect a politician’s heart, and they’ll support more resources for homeless shelters and get another kid off the street, and won’t that be worth it?

We have to do more than just Wake up, we have Shake up, and take charge.

I’m rambling, I admit, but I challenge all of you, to find some injustice in the world, something big, something beyond your life, your neighbourhood, your city, something so big you’d never think of trying to fix it. Then make a plan, find a specific element in this injustice, and make a magickal plan, figure out how to attack it, how to shift it, how to heal it. Piece by piece we nudge the world toward a better place, we make change more possible, we make it easier for those of us working on the mundane to succeed to improve these things.

This isn’t your Grandma praying for the “Good Christian” candidate to win the election, this is raw, desperate, but targeted magick, trying to throw a wrench in the gears of a systemically corrupt status quo, and bring some good into the world.

Sometimes your magick should be practical and realistic. Other times you should be willing to throw everything you got into shaking the world, and maybe, just maybe we’ll make it a better place.

VNV Nation – Everything


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