Thursday, December 31, 2020

Inept Flat-Earthers Fail Spectacularly

This is not really a paranormal or religious story, but since it has to do with the conspiracy theory that the Earth really is flat and this fact is being covered up by powerful forces, it came across my Augoeides radar. It also is pretty darn funny, which is always a good way to close out the year. Recently a flat-earther couple in Italy decided that it would be a good idea to sail to the edge of the world. Presumably without falling off.

Many flat-earthers believe that the edge of the world is Antarctica and that what every reasonable person calls Antarctic ice sheets are really a giant ice wall keeping everything from falling off the edge. At one point, I covered a proposed flat-earth reality tv show that would send people across Antarctica looking for the non-existent edge - which would be absolutely hilarious to watch.

But these folks apparently believed that the edge was near Sicily, which is kind of like me living in Minnesota and posting that the Earth is flat and the edge is "somewhere over in Wisconsin." What convinced them of this ridiculous idea is completely beyond me.

Despite Italy's lockdown, a couple from Venice recently set out to prove Earth's flatness once and for all by sailing to the edge of the world, which they believed to be somewhere near Sicily. It's amazing how people who live locally never visit famous tourist attractions, like the leaning tower of Piza or the edge of the Earth where the sea meets the infinite void.

"The two left the Veneto during the lockdown for Lampedusa, violating all restrictions," Salvatore Zichichi of the Maritime Health Office of the Ministry of Health told Italian newspaper La Stampa. "In Termini Imerese they sold their car and bought a boat. For them, Lampedusa [an island of the Italian Pelagie Islands in the Mediterranean Sea] was the end of the Earth."

The trip, always destined to end in disappointment, hit some snags immediately. Firstly, if you're planning on taking a trip to the very edge of the world, this year, when most of the world has been ordered by law to stay at home, perhaps wasn't the best one to choose.

Using a compass (a navigation system that relies on the principle that the Earth is not a pancake), the couple set off in their boat and attempted to navigate their way through the Pelagie Islands to reach Lampedusa, La Republica reports. You probably won't be surprised to learn that a couple that sold their car in order to reach the end of the world perhaps hadn't thought things through, however, and they soon found themselves lost, tired, and washed up on the island of Ustica instead.

Since the global pandemic is still on, the couple was placed in quarantine by health officials, but in their determination to find the edge they escaped and sailed away once more, possibly figuring the police's authority ends where the rim meets the vacuum of space. They were caught three hours later.

So no, they didn't find the edge. This shouldn't be even a little surprising as an enormous amount of global trade is conducted between nations on the Mediterranean Sea and places that are across oceans well beyond Sicily. How are all those ships supposed to cross the edge? Teleporters? And that doesn't even take into account planes. Pilots would surely at least see the edge, as the airspace over Europe and the Mediterranean is pretty busy.

But I suppose if the ridiculous amount of evidence proving that the world is round won't convince these folks, why shouldn't they think it would be near Sicily? If you're going to buy into a delusion, you might as well go all the way. "Hey, wanna know something? The Earth is flat. I can prove it, because the edge is in my closet. Take a look, it's right there. Don't fall off!"

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for December 29th

Here is the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk. This is my final Ritual Night Talk for 2020, closing out this unusual and difficult year. The donation link is here.

I titled this talk "Odds and Ends" because it covers bits and pieces of magical practice and a couple of specific questions on topics that I have previously addressed. Hopefully my comments on those topics are not too repetitive and offer some additional insights.


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for December 22nd

Here is the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk on the Holy Guardian Angel, Part 3. The donation link is here.

I previously have covered Liber Samekh and dedicated two talks to discussion of the Holy Guardian Angel, but I wanted to elaborate on those a bit more based on questions I received and bits of online discussion I encountered over the last week. Also, I wanted to say a little bit more about the HGA in the context of the Auto-Talismanic Ritual that we performed on Monday for the Winter Solstice.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Auto-Talismanic Winter Solstice Rite for 2020

Here is the video of last night's Auto-Talismanic Rite for the Winter Solstice. The donation link is here.

We have been doing the Auto-Talismanic Rite at Leaping Laughter OTO for a number of years now on or around the Winter Solstice, but it can be done at any time. The first part of the ritual is used to cleanse and dispel negative energies and influences in your life, and the second part calls on the Holy Guardian Angel to empower a eucharist in a similar manner to the elixir rites.

Happy Solstice, everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Auto-Talismanic Ritual for 2020 - Streaming

Today's Magick Monday post is the script for the Auto-Talismanic Ritual that we will be performing tonight, December 21st, for the Winter Solstice. It will be streamed on Facebook Live at the Leaping Laughter OTO page. The page can be found here. We will be starting around 7:30 PM CST, but barring any technical difficulties I will archive the video after the ritual so you can view it whenever you have time if you miss it live.

0. The Temple

The temple is set up with an altar in the center, on which sits the Table of Art. A chalice, initially filled with salt water, is placed in the center of the Table. The banishing dagger, invoking wand, and bell chime are placed on the altar. Magus wears white and Sophia wears black. Throughout the ritual, Sophia and Magus face each other across the altar, moving appropriately throughout the various ceremonial forms.

I. Opening

Magus takes up the banishing dagger and performs the Star Ruby.

Sophia: We take refuge in Nuit, the blue-lidded daughter of sunset, the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night sky, as we issue the call to the awakened nature of all beings, for every man and every woman is a star.


Magus: We take refuge in Hadit, the secret flame that burns in every heart of man and in the core of every star, as we issue the call to our own awakened natures, arousing the coiled serpent about to spring.


Sophia: We take refuge in Heru-Ra-Ha, who wields the wand of double power, the wand of the force of Coph Nia, but whose left hand is empty for he has crushed an universe and naught remains, as we unite our awakened natures with those of all beings everywhere and everywhen, dissolving all obstacles and healing all suffering.


Magus: For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

Sophia:: All is pure and present and has always been so, for existence is pure joy; all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass and are done; but there is that which remains. To this realization we commit ourselves – pure and total presence.

All: So mote it be.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for December 15th

Here is the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk on magick as technology. The donation link is here.

Magick is essentially a technology involving consciousness. Some perspectives treat magick and religion as different or even entirely opposed approaches to spirituality. However, if we consider that the real intent of religion is to codify a system for producing spiritual experiences, they are quite similar. In addition, in this talk I go through how some of the metaphysical ideas from the last couple of weeks can be applied to magical rituals and operations.


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for December 8th

Here is the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk with more on magical metaphysics. The donation link is here.

This is Part Three of the conversation that I started on November 17th. It addresses some additional questions that came up in response to the last couple of videos in this series, and some related digressions that take those questions as jumping-off points.


Sunday, December 6, 2020

Against Monoliths

I want to start out by saying that I really have tried over the last month to avoid posting on every story I see about Christians being jerks. There have been a lot of them lately, especially surrounding the election, and I have made a conscious effort not to add to that noise. Augoeides is not a political blog, and I try to concentrate only on those areas of politics and public policy where they overlap with religion and the paranormal.

Some background on the story I am covering today. Recently several mysterious monoliths have shown up around the world. While there was a bit of initial paranormal speculation surrounding them, it quickly became clear that they were some sort of art project. And they caught the world's attention, because they were weird and interesting and funky. It left everyone wondering where the next one was going to appear.

But here's the sad bit - Christians who are apparently against... monoliths? A group of these idiots went out and destroyed the California monolith and put up a ramshackle cross in it's place to show how much they "love Jesus Christ." Seriously?

In a video, which was livestreamed and posted online, the group of young men drive from southern California to tear down the structure. Under cover of darkness, they hike up to the structure and tear it down while chanting “Christ is king!”. They then erect a homemade wooden cross in its place and drag the remains of the monolith down the mountain to their car.

During the video, the men also make offensive comments and drink substantial quantities of energy drinks, while also referencing Donald Trump and the QAnon conspiracy theory and their mission is to demonstrate “how much we love Jesus Christ”.

The vandalism angered local officials. “We are upset that these young men felt the need to drive five hours to come into our community and vandalize the monolith,” Atascadero’s mayor, Heather Moreno, said in a news release. “The monolith was something unique and fun in an otherwise stressful time.”

I also want to make it clear that I'm not lumping all Christians in with these folks - many of them are entirely reasonable, decent people who don't care about ruining other peoples' fun. But Christians like these are the exact reason that I will never support politicians who back the conservative Christian agenda. That sort of Christianity is not about spirituality or devotion or even salvation, really. It's about posturing and tribalism and basically wrecking things for anybody who's not part of their club, just because.

It should be obvious that nothing about a featureless, metal pillar in the middle of a desert is in any way prohibited by the Christian religion. The entire fact that it's featureless means that it has no symbols on it that might represent a competing religion - which, while still awful, might at least explain some other reason for doing besides simply being terrible people. But no, it appears that them being terrible people is in fact the real explanation.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Revisions, Revisions, Revisions

Contrary to popular belief, I do occasionally go back and update my posts based on changes in my practice and so forth. Recently I have been going through my elemental work, planetary work, zodiacal work, and path of initiation posts to change the generic Table of Art/Practice diagram that I originally used over to the more elaborate Table shown above from The Digital Ambler. You can read in detail how it was constructed here.

The main reason I went with this particular version is that it includes an additional outside ring with the zodiacal angels rendered in Celestial Hebrew. While I don't make much use of cipher alphabets in my own work, the presence of the zodiacal angels seems especially appropriate given the various aspects of zodiacal magick that I teach, including chart victors and simple electional timing. It's especially ideal for zodiacal operations, though you can still conjure zodiacal angels with the old version and they do show up.

This design is more time-consuming to draw than the old version unless you happen to be a really good crafter - which I am not - so I recommend the same method I used for my traveling Sigillum Dei Aemeth - print out the diagram and glue it onto an 8-inch wooden disk from Michael's or some other craft store. Then you can seal the top to make it more durable.

In addition to changing out the Table diagram I have made a few other tweaks here and there, such as taking out "Let the divine light descend!" from my Greater rituals. That's a technique that I used to use, but over the last several years I've dropped it because in the context of embodied spirituality, the divine light more "emerges" or "fills" than "descends." If you are doing it that way and like it feel free to continue, but as I no longer use it I figured I should remove it from the rituals while I was making updates.

So far I have only done a couple of operations with the new Table design, so I don't have a good sample set for comparison. But it seems like it works at least as well as the generic version, if not better. If you feel like doing some of those experiments yourself, I invite you to try them out and share your results.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Ritual Night Talk for December 1st

Here is the video of last night's Ritual Night Talk with more on magical metaphysics. The donation link is here.

This is Part Two of the conversation that I started on November 17th. When I mention what we discussed "last week" in the video, I actually am referring to the talk from two weeks ago. Last week was the Sagittarius Elixir Rite.

At any rate, this talk goes over how the basic metaphysical model that I use applies to the various models of magick proposed over the years such as the spirit model, the energy model, and so forth. I even talk a bit about the psychological model - just because I don't believe magick is psychology-only, that doesn't mean it can't work with psychological processes that you want to change within yourself.