Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

End as thou didst begin: The Star Ruby

Crowley’s Liber XXV, a ritual known as “The Star Ruby” and designed as a “new and more elaborate” ritual of the pentagram, concludes with the instruction to repeat the Qabalistic Cross and “end as thou didst begin.”

Opinions vary on the meaning of this phrase – whether it indicates that one should perform again the “exorcism” that begins the ritual or whether it is a redundant description of repeating the QC. Such details as these are rather irrelevant. But the importance of this phrase, “end as thou didst begin,” however, cuts to the very core of Thelemic philosophy and one of its central paradoxes: initiation fundamentally changes the individual, but it ultimately changes nothing at all.
We will explore the meaning of this enigmatic-sounding sentence in this post, which provides a full examination of The Star Ruby and the ways in which it complements and extends the LBRP, bringing the pentagram ritual further into alignment with Thelema.

Read on for more.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dissenting Opinion?...What Dissenting Opinion?

There are some things that are just inevitable: death, taxes, the tides, the seasons, and…Los having his relevant and insightful posts rejected from religious blogs. Earlier this week, I got into a mini-exchange with occult author Donald Michael Kraig on this blog entry here. It forms an interesting extension of the discussion I had with him on his blog earlier this year (which you can read here).

It’s not terribly enlightening to go through my argument there in much more detail: my point is abundantly obvious, as is the rather pathetic way Kraig immediately directs the conversation away from the substance of my post and onto irrelevant, distractionary nonsense (in this case, equivocating on the meaning of a common word and then trying to turn the discussion into speculation about *me* and not engagement with my *arguments*).
Feel free to read through our exchange. My final post of the exchange – rejected by Kraig – will be published below.

But first I wanted to take this opportunity to point out a trend I’ve noticed among religious believers online: they seem to have an aversion to an open discussion of their claims and are quick to shut down discussion (or simply prohibit it outright).

Read on for more.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Go Mitt in Your Hat: Reflections on the Election

Discussing politics is largely a game, one played by people who have the luxury to devote time to it. Like most games, discussing politics can be fun but doesn’t really have any effect on the world. Hell, the actual electoral process itself has only a slight effect. At the end of the day, here in modern America at least, the “choice” offered to voters is usually between candidates who are, in the big picture, remarkably similar. No matter who wins, very little is likely to change in the fundamentals of the system. For me personally, the outcome one way or the other doesn’t really affect how I carry out my True Will, so politics isn’t exactly a pressing issue.

That being said, it can be fun to talk about politics, especially when these Republican clods select the most odious “suit” possible to represent them and have their candidate (along with their dumbass, harmful policies) rejected by the country.
There’s an old Simpsons joke featuring banners at the conventions of the two main American political parties. The Republican banners read, “We’re just plain evil!” and “We want what’s worst for everybody!” and the Democrat banners read, “We hate life and ourselves!” and “We can’t govern!”

For those who dip their heads down to play the (relatively meaningless) game of political discussions, that joke pretty much sums up the playing field. It’s amazing that a joke made twenty years ago is even more relevant today than it was then.
It's also more than a bit disconcerting (once again, relatively speaking from here within "the game") how many American conservatives -- and especially Republican politicians -- seem not only misinformed but positively allergic to facts. Comedian Bill Maher provided a chuckle-worthy take on the phenomenon of the Republican "bubble" here.
Anyway, before this Romney character rides off into the footnotes of history, I wanted to share these links that I found entertaining:

A well-written and insightful review of Mitt Romney's book, written by a fellow Simpsons fan, as witnessed by the great quote that heads the entry.
An amusing parody of Gangnam Style ("Mitt Romney Style") by the folks at College Humor.