Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Readin'



Alan Moore's Yuggoth Cultures and Other Growths is more than enjoyable; it reprints some of his earliest, underground, comic strips as well as background details about why the projects didn't work out, interviews, and other such things. If you enjoy either Lovecraft or Moore's stories, then you'll probably enjoy this tome of a comic collection...

... That said, the story Recognition in it has H.P. Lovecraft's father witnessing (through an interesting twist) his wife being ravaged sexually by the Devil and hotel management. I... Uh... I... didn't expect to turn the page and find the devil having his way with a woman. You just don't see it coming. Be forewarned.


The collection also includes one of his earlier (though doomed) occult stories attempts, which later led to (amongst other things) the character of John Constantine in the Swamp Thing American Gothic saga. All of that aside, the price will probably drive away most consumers (29.99$ USD) despite the fact it's a fairly thick comic.

I had planned to have a whole list of these, but got caught up reading Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72... Because I figured that if there was anything that could help me even remotely calm down about the present political situation, it was that book.

I was right. All elections involve insane people. Thompson makes this remarkably clear.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Being a Periodic Update

I've been semi-busy, and thus not writing... However this was too amazing to not pass on...



Edit: this is also amazing.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"It'll be the best years of your life," my mother told me.

My brother, my sister, we are at war until you are Free.
I have gone over the events in my head for over a dozen years, and I long ago decided that I would never be able to make sense of it all. I will never understand it, completely, and no attempts at rationality or logic will help. Emotional logic does help, though, and it is the only thing I've ever known to turn to that gives any respite.

In the fall of 1998, V. hung herself with a shoestring. In all likelihood, she'd wrapped the thing about her neck while in the shower so that the marks would draw attention to her. Maybe she slipped and her own weight ended her life, or maybe she cut off a bit too much blood and passed out too rapidly to remove the thing. But weighing under a buck – as many fourteen year old girls do – she was consigned to death by it.

She was the first, that year. (That year, suicide also spiked to become the most common killer of youth in California and lingered afterward for a time.) It was my freshman year, and I adored her more than I'll ever have words. I have to fight hard to keep from mentioning her, and sometimes it feels as if the memories are very, very far away. Other times they're still fresh. I think two more kids followed her that year. At least one more did, ending the “cluster” that occurred that year.

Everyone asked “why,” the way everyone always does. But if you were a teenager attending a Clovis Unified school in the fall of 1998, just before another event I'll briefly describe, you knew exactly why the suicides were occurring. They were not baffling.

At my high school, hazing was still a norm. Freshmen could look forward to being shoved into lockers, trashcans, called names, and any other harassment that the older kids felt like they were obligated to hand out. A particular favorite was throwing milk and orange juice cartons at Freshman that gathered into easy-to-harass groups. The orange juice was often still half-frozen inside the carton; being struck by the lobbed grenade-like object would cause your face or skin to swell. One kid had their glasses broken.

The administration didn't much care; kids wearing black clothing getting harassed? Well, why were they dressing so that they “stood out”? After all, if they really wanted to be left alone, wouldn't they just... stop doing things that made them stand out?

In April of 1999, two dipshits walked into a school near Littleton, Colorado and made it expressly clear that as a matter of fact, suicide was not the only option in response to continual harassment. They decided to instead murder as many of their peers as they could before turning the guns on themselves. This is, obviously, not an action I endorse. It's funny: I chatted on the same website that they did. I wore the same clothes. I saw the same things, felt the same harassment. But I never, ever desired to physically hurt most of my peers.

Nonetheless, the question of “why”? It's a stupid fucking question. What are you, fucking idiots? I watched a young girl end up exploited and treated like shit – humiliated and told she was worthless daily – and after she was gone, those that did it expressed no regret. One went so far as to say that she deserved it. Why is perfectly understandable: no one wants to live in Hell. No one.

After Harris and Clebold shot up their school, triggering a series of copy-cat crimes and attempted copy-cats, adults and administrators all over the country became concerned about “the kids” and turned the American school system into a series of fucking prisons, no only making the situation worse, but effectively saying that because “the kids” who had opted to pick up guns had done so, harassing them was essentially “o.k.”

In Fresno, where the suicides had predated the shooting, Marilyn Manson was blamed by inept Yuppy mothers. Marilyn fucking Manson. He was told not to visit for his up-coming concert. No one brought up the assholes who'd driven people to consider murdering themselves, or others. No one talked about the policy of harassment that led to people taking their lives, or others. Instead, scape-goats were found, the population was pacified, tons of schools installed metal detectors.

I didn't decide to live through that year – when I managed to also get myself kicked out of the church I'd been sent to as a kid – because I necessarily cared about anyone. I didn't think of my mother, or my sister, and think: “I don't want to hurt them.”

I'd feel better if I could claim that. I ended up alive because in the end, I decided that someone had to bring the war back to those who'd started the bullshit in the first place. My teens were, in all honesty, dedicated to a policy of harassment and intellectual terrorism aimed at the school administration and my peers. I was so enraged, so utterly pissed, that the only reason I could see to stay alive was that so the dead were not forgotten. It's why I started practicing magick, and why I'm alive today.

Guilt and shame won't save you. But I agree with a comment I saw Veles make recently: anger can save you. It's going to be a long haul, but remember... You are allowed to be righteously angered by unjustice that directly affects you; that strips from you those you love, and that seeks to wear you down until you feel like nothing.

Sometimes the only rational choice – even if it isn't very logical – is to start waging a war for survival and to refuse to quit until you reach adulthood.

Fuck this abstract, “bullying is bad” bullshit. If someone is harassing you to the point that you no longer want to live?

Bring the war home. You don't need a gun, and you don't need a bomb. All you need is your mind, and the desire to completely fuck shit up on the front lines that people refuse to realize are frontlines.

But you aren't alone, and you never will be. Don't give up. It's just not worth it.

Sorry, Gordon. I typed too much for just a comment, so I put it here. I'm still not sure if suicide is an illness, honestly. But I do know that it's a serious subject, worthy of serious consideration. Intimately.

P.S. I did, however, come up with a plan during my teens for revenge that I have kept. In the years since I was 14, I have had three friends swear that upon my death, the individual who I loathed the most will be located. My ashes will then be thrown through their window while they eat breakfast one morning.

I don't want to hurt anyone. But I swear to god, when I die? I will have the last fucking laugh. I mean, who wants to be buried, anyway? Bodily resurrection is lame.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I was alerted to this...

Isn't this quaint.

"ODD is a condition in which a child displays an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, hostile, and annoying behavior toward people in authority. The child's behavior often disrupts the child's normal daily activities, including activities within the family and at school."


Incidentally, this conspiracy site is missing the point: ODD is not a behavioural disorder that's being targeted toward  identifying in adults. It's a disorder being targeted at being identified in children, and one which legitimizes not looking into the reasons the child may be acting out. (Much like the current treatment of anxiety disorders.)

FIAT LOLCATUS



Tonight, I less than cheerfully return Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (there's no second camera?! NOR camera toggle functions?! In a 360 game?! Fuck you, Konomi. You're cutting corners and getting sloppy. You totally owe me like, 20 bucks that I'm losing in the exchange. Bastards.) and pick up the much anticipated, and far less likely to utterly disappoint Fallout: New Vegas. I, uh, may write less as a consequence of shooting super-mutants, ghouls, and mobsters with a sniper-rifle.

I'm working on a special Halloween post (along the lines of what I posted here last Walpurgis, or... Actually, I've decided I'll write the post. I have no idea what it's about. I've been wracking my brain for ideas. I suspect I'll have to meditate near a cemetery at midnight to get the idea, or something. What? What are you looking at me like that for? No, of course I'm not serious. Pft. I would never...), and have a few other things in a half-written, unedited format that'll get fixed up and thrown online to make up for the fact that I'm being a lazy ass.

I also have a list of things worth watching during the tail end of October. Why am I saying that now? Mostly so I'll have less reason to duck out of it later.

All of that aside: it's finally fall! The air is cooling at last! Leaves are falling! It rained here yesterday! I love this season. Seriously. I actually prefer the fall/winter periods of the year for the following reasons: less sunburns, no one expects you to visit a beach, and longer nights...

New Vegas trailers:




Thursday, October 14, 2010

Isn't That Interesting?

“In 1727 a book appeared with a title that deliberately aped that of Boulton's work, but which confirmed the position taken by Hutchinson. Its contents stoked anti-cunning-folk sentiment and may have influenced who formulated the 1736 Witchcraft Act. A Compleat System of Magick: or, The History of the Black-Art, a work of over 400 pages, was published anonymously but can be firmly attributed to Daniel Defoe, one of the most prolific and influentual authors of his time.”
- Owen Davies, Popular Magic: Cunning-Folk in English History (Chp. 2. For Good or Evil? P.40)

... Okay, the book will probably piss me off. But I have to read this. It's time to hunt through Project Gutenberg and some other places.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Absense

House-sitting for one of The Adepts this weekend. Updates to follow again on monday, assuming I'm not a lazy ass this weekend. (Queens of the Occult has to run on a Monday for obvious reasons.)

Skype shall be on periodically. Also: shit will die in one RPG or another. Actually, I might just write about video games... Heh.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Looooooove Spellz (Trouble?)

These thoughts are being written prior to my finishing my “Shady Bastard's Guide to Love & Magick,” which has sat half-written on my hard-drive for about six months... It'll be written. Some day. I swear. But if the thoughts seem incomplete, it's because they probably are...

In Mr. Black's recently blog entry about Love Spells, he writes: “I previously stated that I'm not too comfortable with doing love spells. To me, it is an attack on someones free will.” PA seems to agree with him.

He isn't entirely incorrect. Take, for instance, this charm in Betz The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation:

Love Spell of Attraction: On a piece of pottery write with a bronze stylus: “Hecate, you, Hecate, triple-formed, since every seal of every (love spell of attraction) has been completed, I abjure you, by the great name of ABLANATHANA and by the power of AGRAMARI, because I abjure you, you possess the fire, ONYR, and those in it, that she, NN, be set afire, that she come in pursuit of me, NN, because I am holding in my right hand two serpents and the victory of IAO SABOATH and the great name BILKATRI MOPHECHE, who brandishes fire... that she love me, completely and be aflame and on fire for me; aye, and tortured too. I am SYNKOUTOUEL...”

This is by no means a singular spell, either. There are dozens – perhaps dozens of dozens – in the PGM. Almost all of them end along such lines: “and make her unable to sleep until she loves me,” “and tortured,” “give her nightmares,” “give her dreams of me,” “torment her with thoughts of me...”

Each and every one of those lines occurs, and the question arises internally: “would I ever want this spell cast on me?”

Oh, fuck no. Man, you cast that shit on me, and you'll be facing a Scorched Earth Policy when I bring the war that you wanted to your door. Given that such ideas actually make me rabidly angry, I could hardly fault any other woman or man who felt similarly.

But what, then, of “love magick”? Is it all compulsion?

I think not.

Breaking it Down

Let us assume that “love magick,” is a generic category, then. Any manner of spells or rituals might be included as long as the aim is love – be it to cause, heighten, or discover where it might lie hidden. As such we might construct a few categories:

  • Compulsive Love Magick
As shown and referenced above, this would be a spell essentially binding a victim (and yes, the term is chosen deliberately) to you in an attempt to get some manner of sex and/or attention out of them. This could be done ritualistically, sympathetically, or so on. For example: one might create a poppet of their victim, and then bind one's picture to the chest of said poppet while invoking a deity of love to aid them in such a task. (Once again, I'm not advocating that you should. But anyone can come up with probably a dozen ideas along these lines in five minutes if they have any experience with sympathetic magick at all.)

  • Influence/Glamor
Attempting to psychically influence a given situation. For example: invoking a given deity and walking into a bar hoping that their influence will bring an attractive party nearer to you, or make you seem more attractive and approachable. Hell, attempting to remotely activate someone's root chakra would also probably fall in line with this.

  • Incubatic
This category probably sounds like the worst, but in actuality it's probably the least threatening. By “incubatic,” I mean “dream incubation,” or the attempt to send another dreams of one sort or another. The PGM has more than a few spells meant to accomplish this, but in principle it can also be done with basic sympathy. The general idea seems to be that if the woman enjoys having her way with you in her dreams, she'll seek out such activities in waking life. If you think that's all it takes to win a girl's heart, friends, then you're in for a bit of a surprise. And you're probably going to be single a lot and wonder why all women refuse to acknowledge your existence.

I'm not sure how to categorize Hoodoo Powders and Love Philtres, but they seem to have their place, too. Mastering Witchcraft also contains a rather interesting chapter on love magick that those interested in it might look to.

I have three final comments:

My best success has been with using magick to “open doors,” as it were. Arriving at the right place, and the right time, after the right sigil or thought-form has been launched was a common one. I've never attempted to coerce someone with a spell, but that's just a personal-ethical thing.

I have purposefully (while in relationships and such) and accidentally sent people dreams. The latter are almost always horribly embarrassing, and never actually “mean” anything.

Finally: regardless of the outcome of any spell, or variant, I think one of the things that aids in success is willingness to move beyond the arena of spellcraft and prove to the other individual you're worth boning (or knowing, or loving).

Be seeing you,
J.F.

P.S. remember to specify “STD FREE” in your “GET LAID QUICK” sigils. It's a freakish world out there, filled with diseases that'll wither your genitals and probably eventually kill you in terrible ways. No one wants that. Seriously.

And then...

“Really, Mom, if you need me to loan you forty dollars so you can take my sister out to coffee and have a chat with her about responsibility, that's not a problem.”

Score this under, “conversations I never expected to have.”

I'm also seriously amused.

Monday, October 4, 2010

This is... Amazing.



Alas, due to crazy blogspot formatting, you probably want to click on the panel and follow the link to youtube. Sorry.

Occult RSS Feeds

The folks over at Mayhem IV appear to be looking for a good occult RSS feed for blogs, essays, and such that they can plug the community into. As this is something I've clearly avoided bothering with, I have absolutely no idea even where to begin looking.

I figured I'd drop the question in here, and I'll be sure to give full-credit to who-ever has the best ideas on this matter.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Oh, yeah.

Should there by typos I miss, pardon it please. You see, my thumb isn't as effective as usual because...

... Because I was a dumbass. For a few days, my sister-in-law's dog has been acting odd around me. I assumed this was because said dog was feeling neglected. So, today, after she'd hung around me for a while without acting out, I went to pet her. I wasn't looking at her at the time; she might have warned me. She might not have. Regardless, she certainly managed to tear up the skin on my thumb. Nothing horrible; it could have been much worse.

But I'm mildly annoyed with myself for obvious reasons.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft

I had been searching for Sir Walter Scott's Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft in a physical volume for a while. Why can I find tons of Montague Summers these days, and not a peep from Scott? Anyway...

I thought to myself: that's certainly in public domain by now... And 'lo and behold, Sacred Texts delivers. Murray seemed to have a particular loathing for Scott, so my theory is that we should pay more attention than usual to him.

It also took me forever to find a copy of The Secret Commonwealth. And I still haven't found a physical copy of Aradia that I've liked. Bah. If I made more money, I'd probably just buy more books...


EDIT: “Some communication between the spiritual world, by the union of those termed in Scripture “sons of God” and the daughters of Adam, still continued after the Fall, though their inter-alliance was not approved of by the Ruler of mankind. We are given to understand – darkly, indeed, but with as much certainty as we can be entitled to require – that the mixture between the two species of created beings was sinful on the part of both, and displeasing to the Almighty.”
- Letter Two.

I was like: “what? Straight up Grigori sex, then, is it?”

Don't hang out on top of Black Towers. You almost always end up having sex with a succubus or an incubus. And, you know, that's... not good. I think.