Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I'll See You Again In 25 Years

Holyshitholyshitholyshityesyesyesyeswwwwwwhhhhooooooooooooo! Or something like that...

I just decided to rewatch the original Twin Peaks about a week and a half ago, so I'm extra freaked (in a good way) by the synchro-coinkydinks going on. Awwwww, hell yeah!

The world could use a little more Dale Cooper about now.

via independent.co.uk:

Kyle MacLachlan has strongly hinted on Twitter that he'll feature in the new season of Twin Peaks set to air on Showtime in 2016.

"Better fire up that percolator and find my black suit :-) #Twinpeaks" the actor wrote, referencing his character's costume and his love for damn good coffee.

Showtime announced nine new episodes of the drama from original creators David Lynch and Mark Frost yesterday, but declined to comment on the cast.

Frost told The Hollywood Reporter that he's "hopeful that we'll have news on it in the coming weeks" however.

Better fire up that percolator and find my black suit :-) #Twinpeaks — Kyle MacLachlan (@Kyle_MacLachlan) October 6, 2014


Colorado Kush Rush Continues: Marijuana Store Survey 10 Months On

via zerohedge.com:
In June, ConvergEx's Nick Colas sized up the legal recreational marijuana market in Colorado by surveying several storeowners and their employees. Today he offers an update after circling back with these sources to get a grasp on the business 10 months into its legal tenure. On the whole, Colas notes that the marijuana business continues to be robust: stores are still seeing about 100-300 customers a day, who are still spending $50 to $100 per transaction. With stable pricing at about $40-$50 for an eighth ounce, and $300-$400 for an ounce, we estimate the 200 state-licensed marijuana stores in Colorado have raked in $252 million from January 1st through September; factoring the newly licensed 46 stores as of October 1st, we estimate revenue for 2014 totaling $355 million. Why should the rest of us care? Between excise and retail taxes, marijuana businesses in Colorado should generate upwards of $100 million in taxes for the year; the state alone should reap $35.5 million from the 10% sales tax. This Colorado experiment is growing into a mature market that offers a handsome stream of revenue to both businesses and the state. Sure, there are a few headwinds like any startup industry endures, but this continues to be a fascinating case study of a new – and quite profitable – business.

Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse Returns to the Sky on Wednesday

via abcnews.go.com:
PHOTO: In this composite photograph, the moon during various phases of a total lunar eclipse

It's not Halloween just yet, but that doesn't mean the moon can't get a little freaky.

The second blood moon of the year will light up the sky early Wednesday morning in North America, where it will be most visible from the Pacific coast, according to NASA.

The Earth will position itself between the sun and the moon, creating a full lunar eclipse with a majestic red hue.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Feast of Saint Cyprian

It seems like the nasty aetheric spooge that's been gumming things up lately is finally breaking apart. Since this is roughly concurrent with Saint Cyprian's feast day(s), I felt it would be approriate to give a big shout out to St. Sippy. Activity in the general weirdo-sphere has been slow for the past several months, with a number of fine authors on hiatus due to the aforementined aetheric spooge. Fortunately, many are wandering back from their sojourn in the desert with tales of signs and wonders. Here's a brief collection of writtings, new and old, to wet the whistle and fire the sigils. Light those purple candles and settle in...

First, a brief intro to St. Cyprian (from Wikipedia):
The outline of the legend or allegory, which is found with diffuse descriptions and dialogues in the "Symeon Metaphrastes" and was made the subject of a poem by Empress Aelia Eudocia, goes thus:

Cyprian was a pagan magician of Antioch who had dealing with demons. By their aid he sought to bring St. Justina, a Christian virgin, to ruin; but she foiled the threefold attacks of the devils by the sign of the cross. Brought to despair, Cyprian made the sign of the cross himself and in this way was freed from the toils of Satan. He was received into the Church, was made pre-eminent by miraculous gifts, and became in succession deacon, priest and, finally, bishop, while Justina became the head of a convent.

Next, a very accessable and thorough run down on St. Cyprian and his relevance to magickal practice (from ConjureMan Ali's Spiritual Blog):
Saint Cyprian is the patron of conjure-doctors, rootworkers, magicians, occultists and spiritual practitioners, not to be confused with Cyprian of Carthage. According to legend, St. Cyprian was a powerful magician whose power over dark and mighty spirits was reknown. Either he himself or one of his clients fancied Justina, a young and virtuous Christian woman so he conjured up one of his demon servants and sent the spirit over to abduct her, but she repelled the demon by signing the cross. Saint Cyprian was so moved by the act that he converted. Given his pagan background Saint Cyprian is also one of the few saints who seems to have a soft spot for pagans and non-Christians.
He is a wonderful saint who can be called upon to aid you in works of uncrossing, reversal, protection from spiritual and magical attacks and is a powerful ally for those of us who work with hotter, primal, and more chaotic spirits. I always work with him before any of my goetic workings and can feel his cool, but charged power have my back as I stand in conjuration.

And a few recent articles of note that really highlight the current resurgence of magickal vigor:

from digitalambler.wordpress.com:
The Role of Hermes in Mathetic Exploration
Think about that. We’re putting all our trust into Hermes. Hermes is the trickster god of the Greeks, the one who steals, lies, and shits (literally) on the other gods. We’re relying on him to keep us out of agnosis when he lies to the other gods and disguises himself so he can’t be seen. Rather than asking “is this wise”, it might be more proper to ask “why the fuck are we trusting him?”
So, all this is just some extrapolation from mythology and basic understanding of Hermes on the paths. It’s not so much that we should be trusting the tricky little fucker, but that we don’t really have a choice; the tricks he plays on us are as much as part of the journey as is traveling down the odoi themselves. The Work must be done, and there’s so much more to find out. We can make the jump from Agnosis to Gnosis; now we need to figure out what’s going on with the sphairai. The first one we’re brought to is that of Mercury, which is one we’ll be visiting the most, and it’s the sphere most closely associated with Hermes. But if Hermes does not enter into any sphere, what kind of nature does this sphaira have? What can we find out and learn about these sphairai and how they relate to the other aspects of the Tetractys, to mathesis, to magic, and to the world generally? Let’s find out, shall we?

from Christopher Knowles Secret Sun blog:
The Mandaeans are not your usual Gnostics. As mentioned before they claim lineage back to John the Baptist himself, a claim many scholars take seriously. And their literature...well, their literature is interesting. It's some of the more compelling Gnostic literature you'll read, free of the kind of philosophical navel gazing that makes some of the Nag Hammadi material a tough sled. And their texts lead me to wonder their survival may not be due in part to a relation with a companion race, an elusive companion race. Because not only is their literature more engaging than a lot of other Gnostic material, a lot of it reads more like The Secret Commonwealth than The Secret Book of John.

Mandaean literature speaks of a race of luminous beings called Uthras, who protect and instruct these Gnostics. Their religious liturgies are also heavily focused on the "waters," the traditional Biblical term for the cosmos, or outer space.

from blueflamemagick.wordpress.com:
Now I’m not here to criticise what they’re doing or their techniques. The articles talks about the emotional/mental benefit these people are getting from their mentally constructed companions, and as I generally say about magick, it’s about getting results and whether it benefits you. So a few people mentioned that their companion helped them through their depression, good for them, depression is horrible to deal with, and if it works then I’m glad for them.

While not the same I’ve used similar techniques to separate and control aspects of my personality, for those familiar with my Egoetia work, which at this moment I can’t remember if I’ve ever talked about on this blog. (And if I haven’t blogged about it, that just goes to show you should attend the classes and conventions where I yatter about this stuff) So again, not challenging techniques or results, I don’t know enough about them to make a well-founded evaluation, but there is something I can say:

It’s not a tulpa.

from runesoup.com:
Those who talk will happily tell you how skilled they are in getting the spirits to work with them, sometimes using faux Edwardianese to describe this for whatever reason. Those who walk the walk know that all magic works dickishly but this is doubly the case with spirit work. Spirits teach algebra to dogs. I would go so far as to say that you can measure the fidelity of spirit contact by just how weird the response to your pact/agreement/request actually was. It is inevitably, nay likely, that you will have missed something.

That’s listening, though, isn’t it? Passivity. Awareness. The opposite end of the spectrum to wands and ‘true wills’ and all the other poorly-disguised Freudian covers for frustrated penises that are found in abundance in western magic. Listen and your only response is to re-wild witchcraft. That is the only response to listening to the spirits. (And that is all I am going to say on ‘that’ matter. Because civility.)

and from twoicefloes.com:
What has happened to humankind on Earth is the equivalent of child abuse; nothing more and nothing less. The true tragedy in all of this is that billions living here are now so abused they can never be normal humans again, no matter what happens next. Fortunately, Forever is eternal and it includes the opportunity to heal and to become whole again.

This loss of humankind’s true nature as an infinite spiritual being is the fundamental issue wrong on our Earth now. And it can only be fixed by each of us doing our utmost to learn the truth about ourselves and not to be influenced by the lies created to keep humans from knowing fully, and thus understanding completely, our own eternal and incorruptible true Self.

This is nothing less than a very crucial war, a war now being fought one person at a time over the freedom to live a life here on Earth that is truly of one’s own making.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Radical Librarianship

via boingboing.net:

It's no secret that libraries are among our most democratic institutions. Libraries provide access to information and protect patrons' right to explore new ideas, no matter how controversial or subversive. Libraries are where all should be free to satisfy any information need, be it for tax and legal documents, health information, how-to guides, historical documents, children's books, or poetry.

And protecting unfettered access to information is important whether that research is done using physical books or online search engines. But now it has become common knowledge that governments and corporations are tracking our digital lives, and that surveillance means our right to freely research information is in jeopardy.



Friday, September 12, 2014

Amid Night Suns: As The Storm Rages

I just came across this excellent essay by Raj Sisodia (author of the blog Amid Night Suns) that seems particularly relevant in light of recent world events and thought it would be worth re-posting. Kudos to Mr. Sisodia for sharing this thoughtful perspective.

via amidnightsuns.blogspot.co.uk:
But I think at times like these, with global chaos unfolding and all sorts of wars waging or looming on the horizon, it’s even more important not to give into despair or apathy. A certain sobriety of outlook is useful, as is a certain measure of detachment from everything happening around us. But those things are not the same as complete disengagement, sociopolitically or personally. It does us no good to pretend we don’t hear those personal demons hissing in the darkness as they search our psyches for wounds or anxieties that they can use as leverage. Speaking symbolically at the very least, it seems the Archons and power-elites are doing what they have always done – trying to find a million different ways to get us to love all the horror. And if not love it, then at least getting us to feel semi-comfortable with it. To battle evil, a certain amount of horror is necessary, right? But there are various evils, and the most pernicious of them often go unmentioned and intellectually unchallenged. Corporate, gleaming utopias where warlords wear three-thousand dollar suits and genocides are planned in five-star hotels…this isn’t the stuff of near-future science fiction.

This is now.


On a tangental sidenote concerning near-future science fiction, I've been rewatching "Max Headroom" recently and am amazed at how dark and predictive it seems today. Back in the 80's the plot devices they used (false flag operations, black market organ harvesting, militarized police, corporate zaibatsus overrunning an entire culture, media induced narcosis, etc) seemed so extreme that it came off as campy satire. Reviewing it in light of the last decade, I have to say doesn't seem so "campy" or "satirical" anymore. In the immortal words of Blank Reg: "All day every day, making tomorrow seem like yesterday"...

James Bond Villain Richard Kiel Dies at 74

via hollywoodreporter.com:

He played Jaws, the towering bad guy with the steel teeth, in 'The Spy Who Loved Me' and 'Moonraker'

Richard Kiel, the 7-foot-2 actor who played Jaws, the James Bond villain with the teeth of steel, died Wednesday. He was 74.

He had another iconic role that many will remember: Kanamit, the main alien from the Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man". Presented here for your viewing pleasure...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Leveling the Playing Field - Realworld Rules for "Monopoly"

Does anyone know of a good software version of Monopoly that lets you program in your own guidelines? I think it'd be interesting to play a version that was updated to reflect our current socio-economic reality.

Here's some changes that might increase the versimilitude, even though it will probably make the games much, much shorter:

1. At the beginning of the game, one player is designated as "Elite". Everyone else is, well, everyone else.

2. Each player starts with $1000, except for the Elite, who starts the game with $20,000.

3. At the beginning of their turn, each player (except the Elite) must pay a 5% tax of their total worth (including assets like property) to the Central Banker, who places it in the bank for a moment, and then immediately takes it out and hands it to the Elite. This is to reward the Elite for being a "job creator" and a "wealth accelerator".

4. Each time a player passes GO they receive $200, but must immediately return $60 of it in "taxes" to the Central Banker, who places it in the bank for a moment, and then immediately takes it out and hands it to the Elite. This is to reward the Elite for being a "job creator" and a "wealth accelerator".

5. Players may buy property, but must add 20% to the purchase cost listed on the card to account for hidden expenses, lawyer's fees, useless insurance, political corruption, housing zone gerrymandering, vigourish, grift, unavoidable scams, hustles, apriori arguments, and bribes for the various property inspectors. Elites get a 50% discount on their purchase price. If the Elite decides they want another player's property they may declare "eminent domain" and seize the property for 25% of it's listed value.

6. Only the Elite may buy utilities, railroads, houses, or hotels.

7. If a player picks a "Get Out of Jail Free" card they must immediately give it to the Elite.

8. If the Elite lands on the "Go to Jail" square or picks a "Go to Jail" card they can chose one of other players to be their "patsy". The player chosen must remain in jail until the Elite decides they have "paid their dues to society". For every turn they stay in jail they must pay 10% of their total worth to the Central Banker, who places it in the bank and then immediately removes it and hands it to the Elite (because they're a "job creator" and a "wealth accelerator", of course).

9. Anytime anyone rolls doubles, the Elite automatically gets to take an extra turn. Nobody else does.

10. For any loans taken out from the Central Bank, players must pay 20% interest per turn on the original value of the loan until it is entirely paid off.

11. Elites may borrow as much as they like interest free, and do not have to pay off their debts until after the game is over.

Monday, August 25, 2014

World’s oldest ritual discovered

via apollon.uio.no:
“Stone age people took these colourful spearheads, brought them to the cave, and finished carving them there. Only the red spearheads were burned. It was a ritual destruction of artifacts. There was no sign of normal habitation. No ordinary tools were found at the site. Our find means that humans were more organised and had the capacity for abstract thinking at a much earlier point in history than we have previously assumed. All of the indications suggest that Tsodilo has been known to mankind for almost 100,000 years as a very special place in the pre-historic landscape.” says Sheila Coulson.



New Evidence Challenges Out of Africa Theory

via mysteriousuniverse.org:
There are some fields where that stubborn support for different paradigms is unevenly distributed. Paleoanthropology, for instance. Most paleoanthropologists are strong supporters of the standard timeline of human development, known as the Out Of Africa Theory, which states, among other things, that humans originated on the African Savanna nearly 200,000 years ago, and that our migration from those plains into Asia and Europe happened roughly 60,000 years ago. This standard timeline is supported by a veritable mountain of evidence. Fossils, archaeological finds, genetic markers, et cetera, et cetera. Of course, under that standard timeline there are many sub-theories, like the Savanna Pump Theory, which says that our migration from Africa happened several times over a period of several thousand years. But most such theories work in support of the standard timeline… most.

Human exodus may have reached China 100,000 years ago

via newscientist.com:

The "out of Africa at 60,000 years ago" scenario remains the majority view. But the orthodoxy is slowly being challenged as ancient bones are uncovered in the east. As yet, though, they remain few and far between.

Last month, Christopher Bae of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Wei Wang of the Guangxi Museum of Nationalities in Nanning, China, and their colleagues described two teeth from the Luna cave in China's Guangxi Zhuang region. Based on the proportions of the teeth, the team argue that at least one of them must have belonged to an early Homo sapiens (Quaternary International, doi.org/tz5).