and the beat goes on

-sorry for the Radio Silence as of late, living through a Pandemic makes it hard to do or say much of anything sometimes

Sadly, the Club is still refraining from having our physical meetups since COVID is still at large, but we’re still available to chat online from time to time- so please make use of either Discord or Telegram to reach out

It is important to keep a safe physical distance from others, but that’s not true in other areas, we need to talk to friends now more than ever.

I wish y’all all the best, now and in the future,

Cres

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Black Lives Matter, now and always

-in matters great and small, we all have a long ways to go to rid ourselves of racism and anti-black sentiments

Many times black voices are left out of the occult community- I ask that we make all our spaces welcome for all POC, especially BIPOC since they sometimes are left out- not necessarily by choice, but being overlooked is also bad (perhaps even moreso).

At any rate, here are some black tarot/oracle/astrology folks you can support and also, an important cause you can help out with and educate yourself more about too:  8toabolition.com

[cw: police brutality, violence, killings]

“99% of killings by the police from 2013-2019 did not result in officers being charged with a crime.”

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” -Desmond Tutu

*****
Anyway, I’m sorry that it took me so long to say what was on my mind and in my heart- it took me time to find my voice and all the resources above, I hope that this post is serviceable and does BLM and the rest of us justice…

⬟⬟⬟

Covid 19 update

We will be postponing our public meet ups while Covid 19 is still at large. Our community is organizing digital meetups whenever possible until the situation changes. Expect an official update for when our public meetups are reinstated. Please stay safe out there while we all do our best to keep the virus from spreading too quickly.

Ego Dormo Cum Spiro,

Magical Musing: Failure, A Magickal Perspective

Is it possible for a Magician to fail?

A Magician is a student of perspective. We make a study of different mindscapes, worldviews, and archetypes. In doing so, much of the source of our power is in how we can frame our situations. This arcane sensibility is possibly more important to the Magician than the immediate outcomes of our decisions.

In our mundane lives, we are faced with failure all the time. Usually, we refine our approach, soothe our wounds, and carry on. Sometimes we reverse or change our course entirely. And we learn.

As Magicians, our awareness illuminates that we are part of something greater. In this domain, it is possible to see any failings on our part as simply part of the current expression of everything. Our successes and failures exist within a larger web of events and probabilities.

Taken within context, we failed because we needed to, because it was necessary. It happened, along with everything else. As an extension of all manifestation, contiguous of and congruent with, Infinity.

Lacking foward progression in the goals of our current linear mortal organism means to remain in place, to feel stuck or even pushed backward. But sometimes, even we have other places we might rather be, the current work isn’t done. The Wheel isn’t ready to turn. And so we remain.

All the things that hold us back from success are each in their own a part of the All. We can despise them, or choose a different way. Therefore, our unintended wisdom is this: fear of failure, and failure itself, are not our enemies. They counsel caution, and to broaden our conscious understanding of ourselves within the Great Now. They are a reminder to us, to use our Magician’s tools. With every breath, with every step forward, in every ringing immediate moment, as everything changes into everything else.

As Magicians, there is power in our failures – the freedom to see ourselves, and our world, with greater clarity and grace; to challenge us to grow in our knowledge and forsake our old assumptions. To know our risks before us as obstacles to be overcome, problems to be solved, and experiences to be gained. There is divinity of power in everything, so too in our failures.

So it is merely a matter of perspective to say when we have done a particular thing, we were doing “failure”. An overly simplistic one, at that. To a Magician, there can be awe and amazement to do anything at all, because to do is to manifest creation. To share, in no matter how small or mundane a part, with Magos. ⬟

Club Changes in the New Year

Hello everyone,

As an illustrious fuddy dudy it falls on me to outline some major changes in the club this year. We’ve come a long way since we established the club two years ago and because of this fact our focuses and situations have developed and changed. We are in the process of updating the club to better reflect the concerns of its membership.

The first major change is the discontinuation of the regular St. Pete meet ups. We unfortunately did not have a lot of St. Pete member participation and for the members that did participate the travel to St. Pete was a major hurdle. We will still visit St. Pete for special events, such as our planetarium visits, but we will no longer be meeting at Mad Hatter’s for regular events.

The second major change is a refocusing of the club’s messaging to highlight ourselves as a queer space. The concerns of club membership have begun to crystallize on the intersection of the occult and queer lives and so I do not anticipate major deviations from our discussed content. This by no means indicates we will be restricting membership to queer practitioners or that the club will not continue to seek to accommodate all members. We more wish to acknowledge the composition of the club and to better position ourselves to serve the ends of its membership. I will likely write at length about this intersection in another article.

The third major change will be the selection of an outdoor space for regular meetings. We are still evaluating options, but we wish to vary the environments in which we hold our meetings and establish a long term camping ground for the club.

Finally, we are working on compiling articles and other content for a club publication. We are not yet committing to a timeline, I believe that our interests will be better served by waiting for submissions and publishing when we have a decent collection to really sit down and edit into a classic ‘zine. This is the beginning of our official long term projects.

There will be many other changes coming up, though they are not far enough along for me to outline them with certainty. Regardless, I am excited to see newfound momentum within the club and at the prospect of better supporting our community. To the successful start of an exciting year!

Ego Dormio Cum Spiro,

What to do if you get “stuck” during a Tarot Card Reading:

Beforehand, remember to always make Empowering Queries or Requests of the Cards that give the Querent the focus and direct power to influence their situations with each Reading done; that way, they can better take action and be more in control of what happens in their lives.

Still, sometimes, despite one’s best efforts, the Cards’ Messages don’t make any sense at all.

If this happens to you, there are some things you can do:  

– slow down and take some deep breaths
this will help you to be calmer and think more clearly

– touch the Cards one-by-one
interacting with them physically can help to ground you and better absorb what is being said via touch

– add more physical light to the area where the Cards are laid out
seeing clearly/clairvoyance sometimes starts with better lit physical conditions so don’t neglect this just for the sake of ambiance, you need to be able to perceive what you are doing to be able to interpret things

– repeat the Query/Card Request aloud
this way you can have greater recall and focus of what you are seeking to know in the first place, and that can help get the thoughts and words to come out better

Also, review your expectations and try not to let your assumptions overshadow what is being said- especially if you don’t want to take in the message, in that case it’s best to listen even more closely to it!

⬠ ⬟ ⬠ ⬟ ⬠

You that knew, and took the knowledge for granted

O, heartbreak

of now not knowing, what was known instantly and intuitively

but in time, one will finally meet again- perhaps for [what feels like] the first time

a reunion of spirit with flesh

of the mind knowing and more fully comprehending, grasping that which was as free as the air, and as simple and easy as breathing.

The magical world view and the personal search for meaning.

Photo by Aditya Aiyar from Pexels

“Everyone is the other, and no one is himself.”

Martin Heidegger Being and Time

Today’s discussion got into some interesting territory and it made me stop and think about the deep integration of magic into the life of the practitioner. Magic is a way of being in the world more than any specific set of actions or principle beliefs. Our ontologies encode assumptions about the metaphysics of the universe that the magical world view demands to hold true. It is through these ontological perspectives that we construct not only our understanding of the possibility-space we inhabit but also our nature.

Are we mere matter? What is human in our nature? What does it mean to practice magic? To this, my mind turns to Heidegger. The mage is an embodiment of dasein. Magic is our process of authentic choice. We make the meaning of our life through the individual actions that are obfuscated from the social structure at large by the fear of the nothingness our leap to the essence of our being represents. It threatens to break the fragile vessels of category we build up to facilitate social knowledge transfer by the direct and indisputable experience of the ineffable.

In this way we stand at the door of the abyss, watching the shapes that try to encapsulate the nature of being dissolve before the epistemic nothingness. We are tasked with carrying the knowledge of the unknown realms of death. Death, which proves to be inexpressible through its existence beyond the experience of the other. It is only through this dark mirror that meaning resolves. Within that resolution are the workings of all of our spells.

This is why the fool must be inscrutable. Why the mage must address the chthonic. It is only through the experience and confrontation with death that life can be given its essential nature and meaning can flourish.

At least, these are the thoughts of one mage. 🙂

Ego Dormio Cum Spiro

Happy Kemetic New Year (Almost!)

Photograph of Nut in the tomb of Ramses VI by Hans Bernhard

A Guide to the Epagomenal/Intercalary Days
Via the Axis Family

The epagomenal, or intercalary days are the final five days of the Kemetic year, leading up to Wep Ronpet, the celebration of the new year which I may write something on in a couple of days. As the story goes, the grandchildren of Ra, Geb (the earth) and Nuit (the sky) spent so much time doing… athletics… that Ra had his son, Shu (the air) physically separate the two. From here the story differs depending on your source (a very common theme in Kemetic stories): either they are forbidden from having children any day during the year, so Thoth gambles with the moon to create five extra days of the year during which they could procreate, or they were simply so close together that she could not give birth, and their separation let her have her five children. In either case, each of the five days, she bore a child, and it’s both the union of earth and sky, and the birthdays of the important figures I’m going to write a bit about below.

It’s worth noting that the actual new year varies depending on where you are in the world. It’s actually based on the ascension of Sirius, which is usually around late July. Therefore, most modern Kemetics simply choose to keep a specific set of days, the most common begin the five days leading up to August 1st (July 27th through the 31st).

Offerings

Each day, one honors the Netjer/t whose birthday it is, usually with an offering, some veneration and a prayer. Offerings are pretty simple; you usually only need a few things to make an offering:

– Iconography of some kind. Not strictly necessary, but good to help focus on a god/dess, especially if you don’t know them well. This can be a statue or just a picture of them.
– A quiet, clean space where you won’t be disturbed.
– Incense. Incense serves a dual purpose in Kemetic ritual: firstly, it purifies the space. Secondly, it is a signal to the god/desses that you’re requesting their presence, which is reinforced by saying their epitaphs (More on this later)
– A lit candle. Same reasons as above, mostly. It’s a signal, a source of light, warmth, energy. Also if you do pyromancy, it can be helpful for gauging things.
You can also, if you’re inclined, do all of this astrally.

Once you have a space set up, it’s time to present your offerings, light your candle and incense, and get into a calm, receptive headspace. Common offering items include:
– Bread/Fruit/Meat/Honey
– Water/Milk/Beer/Dark liquor/Wine
– Incense (Any kind will do for casual use)
– Natron (Practical as well, for any witch that works with salt)
– Flowers
– Perfume
– Gemstones (Again: practical)
– Any kind of devotional art or writing (Best if you’re pretty familiar with the Netjer/t)

These are the “safe” bets, good for beginners and it’s hard to go wrong with them. Once your offering is complete, then find something to do with it. If it’s decorative, leave them in a place it can be appreciated by them, if it’s a tool of some kind (including salt/natron) then remember to take good care of it, and maybe leave it in a special place. If it’s food or drink, this it’s best to follow the Kemetic tradition of “reversing the offering.” Back then, wasting food was not acceptable, so after allowing the gods or spirits time to eat, the priests would consume the food themselves. The act is in giving and sharing, not in sapping the food of its quality for them. If it’s something you can’t/won’t eat or drink, then you can give it to someone else who will.

Invocation

This should be pretty easy for those who have experience in summoning, but for those who don’t, it’s pretty simple in practice. Once you have everything together, spend some time settling yourself. Close your eyes, take deep breaths. My personal method of breathing is five seconds in, hold for five, out for five, but do what makes you comfortable.

Once you’re in a good state of passive alertness, you can start reaching out. This can be through mind-speech or actually speaking, either way is good. Begin with the Netjer/t’s name. Easy enough. To make sure they know you’re speaking to them, you then begin adding what we call “Epitaphs,” or titles. I’ve provided a short list with each one the days cover, but feel free to add your own that you find in independent research, or that feel right. You’re not going to offend them for being new at something, or being a little awkward on your first reach. We usually give about three or four for a new Netjer/t we’re contacting for the first time. After that, you explain why you’re contacting them. You have a pretty good reason at the outset: it’s their birthday and you’re saying hello. Tell them what you’re offering, in detail, and why. If you feel comfortable, maybe even talk a bit about yourself. What do they make you feel? Why are you interested in them? What other things do you like? In our experience, they love meeting new people who are curious about them.

Speak for as long as you like, and then try sitting there in silence. They may speak directly to you, if you have a good godphone. They may not for some reason. They may try and use symbols, images, ideas or single words. Keep yourself in that state of receptiveness for as long as is comfortable.

Once you are ready to get up for whatever reason, thank them for receiving your offering and giving them your time, then snuff the candle. The incense, you can leave burning or not, it’s up to you (and sometimes Them). It’s customary to exit the shrinespace by bowing one’s head and taking three backwards steps before turning and walking normally. At this point, you may do what you must with your offering, whether eating it, displaying it or using it.

With all that preliminary discourse out of the way, let’s get right into introducing the stars of the event:

Epagomenal Days

Day 1: Osiris (Original name: Wesir/Ausir)

Osiris is the Netjer of the cyclical nature of death and rebirth, decay and fertility, and the duties of royalty. He is usually portrayed as a tightly-wrapped, upright mummy with green skin, a long curled beard (a pharonic symbol of stature), an atef crown (A tall, white crown decorated by two ostrich feathers) and wielding a crook and flail. Initially, he was associated with the yearly inundation of the Nile, and the harvest that it yielded. Is is for this reason that he is often associated with the colors green (for plant life) and black (the color of fertile soil; indeed, the old name for Egypt—Kemet—translates to “black land.”)

Though the process of mummification far preceded stories of Osiris, he came to represent the mummified dead which had transcended life and now lived in Duat, or the Unseen, after being murdered by his younger brother, Set (more on that later). In Old Kingdom texts, this was a fate reserved exclusively for royalty, but by the New Kingdom, Osiris had come to symbolize any person who was making the journey from this life to the next, to the point where his very name was used to refer to them, regardless of gender. Upon meeting his fate, Osiris became the ruler of the land of the dead, as well as fulfilling his prior role as the one who begins the fertile season. In Osiris, we can see the fluidity of life and death, and the course of nature’s wheel.

Common Associations:
– Bulls and Rams
– Cedar
– Acacia
– The colors green and black
– Turquoise
– Malachite
– Wheat
– Gauze
– Soil or gardenwork

Common Epitaphs:
– Ruler of Eternity
– Foremost of the Westerners (The Western horizon was said to be where the land – of the dead’s borders lie)
– Lord of silence
– Lord of the Sacred Land

Day 2: Horus the Elder (Original name: Heru-Wer)

Whereas Osiris became recognized as the embodiment of dead royalty, both Horus the Elder and his descendant-in-name, Horus the Younger (Heru-sa-Aset, Heru, son of Isis) were very much representative of living royalty. His domain was that of kingship, righteous rule, civilization, justified war, as well as being a god of the day, sunlight and the sky, as opposed to Set, whose affiliations were toward night, the dark and earth. It is difficult to discuss Horus (either of them) without discussing their contention with Set, because in times since pre-written history, the two were embroiled in a binary struggle: order versus chaos, law versus strength, the clear day versus the unknowable night, the restrained and regal versus the uninhibited and animalistic. This relationship was, at different times but in equal parts: violent, playful, mutually beneficial, and sometimes even sexual. Horus, in his most glorious, is divine wisdom, discipline, and the strength to do what is just, even when it is not what is easy.

Common Associations:
– Hawks and falcons
– Weaponry
– The Wadjet eye (The left eye is the eye of Heru: a powerful symbol of protection, – divinity, sacrifice and healing)
– The Sun
– The colors blue and gold
– Bronze

Common Epitaphs:
– Lord of the Sky
– He Who Illuminates the Two Lands
– Great of Strength
– He Who Rules With Law

Day 3: Set (Also Sutekh, Setesh, Sutah, or Seth)

As noted before: Set is in many ways the opposite of the Kemetic ideal (An ideal symbolized by Heru). In stories that feature him, he is loud, abrasive, boasting, arrogant, given to drinking (often in excess), aggressive, and sporting an immense sexual appetite, having the most documented consorts of any Netjer by a wide margin, of multiple genders. His domain is chaos, confusion, darkness, storms, deviancy, foreign lands, the harsh, unforgiving desert, and his favoured form is of a strange, unknown mythical animal with a long, crooked snout, squared ears, and a forked tail. He is wild and energetic, raw and uncouth, and the strongest of all the Netjeru. He is the murderer of Osiris and the enemy of Horus. Depending on the time during which one reads about him, he could be a name that is feared and cowered from, a name invoked to channel his unending strength, or a demon whose name and visage is struck from history. If he is so fearful, then why do we honor him? Why celebrate him as we do noble Netjeru like Osiris and Horus?

Because underneath his outward appearance and mannerisms, Set has much to offer. He is a god of necessary chaos; that which upends in order to rebuild and challenges the status quo. He is the patron god and protector of immigrants, outcasts, and those who are looked down upon by society. He was, in his time, the ambassador for Kemet, and foreign relations were his domain. He may be the god of thunderstrikes and violent winds, but he is also the god of gentle, life-giving rain. His killing of Osiris was necessary for Duat to have the rule that it does, and more than that: to show the ruler of mortals exactly what mortality feels like. After the Contendings between Set and Horus ended, and the two lands united, the both of them crowned the Pharaoh together, and would until its fall; wisdom and strength, in perfect unison. Further, one of his most important roles in Duat was to defend Ra as he made his way across the sky, slaying each night the vile s/e/r/p/e/n/t that threatened all life on Earth. He is chaotic, yes, but chaos alone is not evil, and despite his misdeeds and impulsiveness, Set is far from evil. Set is a reminder to us that looks can be deceiving, and that good can come from unconventional, or even earth-shaking sources.

Common Associations:
– Storms
– Violent rebellion
– Drunkenness
– Sexuality of all kinds
– Donkeys, crocodiles, hippopotami, boars and scorpions
– Lettuce (His favorite food)
– The colors red, black and gold

Common Epitaphs:
– He Who Is greatest of Strength
– Before Whom the Sky Trembles (A favorite of mine)
– He Who Revels in Tumult
– Lord of The Red Land
– Slayer of A/p/e/p
– He Who Neglects the Law
– The Red

Day 4: Isis (Original name: Aset)

Isis is both the sister-wife of Osiris and the mother of the younger Horus, and the ways she conducted herself in each role demonstrate how multi-faceted she is as a goddess. Beside (often behind) Osiris, she is what the ancients would consider the ideal Egyptian wife: supportive, loving, loyal and emotional. When Set drowns Osiris in the river, and he is washed away, she journeys for many years to find him again. When she does, and Set kills him a second time—this time by shredding him into thirteen pieces—she again travels in mourning across the land to dutifully retrieve each piece to put him back together again. When view as a partner to Osiris, she also takes on at least one of his most prominent associations, that of the flooding Nile, to represent abundance and resources.

In her role as the exiled mother of the young Horus, she becomes a protector figure, sometimes taming scorpions in order to best defend him, and using great magic to keep him safe from the forces of Set. As Horus was a sickly and accident-prone child, it should be no surprise that she also used her gifts of magic for healing—a specialty that her cults around Kemet would come to be known for. Isis is a nurturing, motherly figure, but not a weak one. It is through her power and resolve that her family is kept safe. She even, in later myths, was able to swallow her anger toward her brother Set for killing her husband (twice) and endangering her child to cure him of a splitting headache, so deep is her compassion.

Common associations:
– The kite (the bird, of course)
– Scorpions
– Thrones
– Cows
– Red Jasper
– Milk
– The colors gold and purple (Personal interpretation, not necessarily historical)

Common epitaphs:
– The Great Goddess (simple and to the point, right?)
– She Who Is Great of Magic
– Mistress of the Beautiful West
– The Great Mother

Day 5: Nephthys (Original name: Nebt-het)

Though she is the sister-wife to Set, Nephthys is more frequently shown next to Isis, as when they both weep over the dead Osiris, and are invoked together in hieroglyphs within tombs to protect the dead. Her name directly translates to “Mistress of the House,” and the aforementioned examples, plus her being the mother to the far more well-known god Anubis, should be a clear indication that the house she is a mistress of is the house of death. Whereas Anubis is the god invoked during mummification, and one of the judges of the dead during the Weighing of the Heart, it is Nephthys that guides the dead there, and, by some sources, is also the “reckoner of lifespan” and the “mistress of years” herself. She is in some ways like a dark reflection of Isis: while her sister specializes in healing and abundance in Earthly life, the shadowy Nephthys is the nurturer of the recently dead—during a time of great vulnerability and confusion. It is likely that her influence was vital toward resurrecting Osiris, as well, because in stories where Set falls in his battle against the forces of evil, she is the one who resurrects him. Set’s domain is for the individual to show strength, and to overcome one’s fears and troubles through personal mettle. Nephthys’ is to show care and love for those who are struggling and aid them however you can.

Common associations:
– Death
– Darkness
– Nighttime
– Passing/Transitioning from one thing to the next
– Lotuses
– Kindness (This also includes self-care)
– The color black

Common epitaphs:
– Lady of the Tomb
– Mistress of Fate
– Lady of the Dark
– Protector of the Dead

Sources:

Goddesses and Gods of the Ancient Egyptians: A Theological Encyclopedia
https://seshkemet.weebly.com/netjeru–gods.html
Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt, by Joyce Tyldesley