Wednesday Webshare: Dragons, Dracula, and Meditation: Sex, Breath, and Darkness

Mercury Web
Interestingly enough a study says that sex and meditation do many of the same things to our brain. Of course I’d wager that lasting effects are more likely to show up with meditation. Maybe I’m biased, but I know a lot more calm, compassionate monks than calm, compassionate people who just get laid a lot. (But as always I take the middle road)

Mike Sententia makes a good, short, post about foundational understanding. I’ve ranted about this for a long time, but he puts it in a short and simple package. We wouldn’t learn science the way a lot of people want to learn magick.

Everyone’s favourite Chick Track combining Dungeons and Dragons, and the occult is being made into a movie. So excited.

A study suggests that non-directive meditation is the most effective form. Despite all the more complex forms I’ve learned over the years, I still return to anapana/vipassana more than anything else, maybe this explains why.

Researchers think they found Dracula’s grave and want to open it…because that never turns out bad in the movies…

Slyphs, and Gnomes, and Undines too…but there are a lot more unusual creatures from medieval manuscripts. Lots of these weird creatures from medieval bestiaries get used in magick, but many have been forgotten, so who wants to figure out magickal uses for the bonnacon?

My friend Psyche discusses the issues around gender essentialism in their time with the OTO, and why they left. As many people know, I recently was part of a panel on queer and gender queer magick, so I’ve found Psyche’s experience with the OTO interesting and relatable to a lot of my issues around rigid binaries. It’s not without hope though, a few commenters said that not all OTO bodies hold to rigid physical sex and gender prescriptions with the roles in ritual, and allow people to move between them based on what the identify with or feel at that time, which is great to read.

Arkansas bans the creation of a pagan temple when they realized pagans aren’t Christian. I wish I could be surprised.

I❤ Dave, and he recently did a Lyric or Satiric game, using the Bible. Basically he and friend take turns either reading Bible verses or fake Bible verses, and guess if it is real or fake.

Buffersafe has a comic on Ghost Stories…and frankly this is far closer to the ghost stories I live.

Back to Spiral Nature, Psyche addresses a question from someone who isn’t sure if they’re ready to begin spellwork. My favourite part is the advice includes something I see way too many occultists forgetting, and that’s SMART goals (or worse…any goals…).

Frankly I’m more likely to blame moldy chip dip than the Ouija board. Hell, I was at a party last weekend where drunk people made a Ouija board, used it while drunk, with a My Little Pony planchette, and no one got possessed.

The world’s first affordable sensory deprivation tank, only $1,700. Okay, that’s still a fair sum, but a lot cheaper than most. As someone who has had great results with the Ganzfeld procedure magickally, I have to say I’ve always wanted a full-blown sensory deprivation tank, and this is just one step closer.

The dark side of meditation. People in the West forget meditation isn’t about relaxation, it can help, but that’s not the point. It loosens the ego, deals with sankara (impurities of the mind), and that isn’t necessarily a pleasant experience. I feel this person needed more help processing his experience and he didn’t get it, but it’s not an unheard of, or even uncommon response. The times I live in temple or meditation retreat contain some of the more horrible and terrifying thought-experiences of my life, all while on a cushion. Meditation can bring you to some really “dark” places, but it can also take you beyond them, just return your focus to your breath.

A distant dharma sibling is crowdfunding to support her work on an elaborate thangka depicting the chöd practice and it looks amazing.

What a Shaman sees in a mental hospital. Interesting reframing of mental conditions through a spiritual lens. (Though I’m not a fan of people who say all mental/cognitive conditions and illnesses are spiritual awakenings.)

A piece on why the tarot has/needs structure. A bit controversial to some, but I wouldn’t say it’s wrong. It’s not a judgment about tarot v oracle decks, but just clarifying that they’re different things, and there is only so much you can change in the tarot until it becomes something else.

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