Mid-Fall BlogHop: Birth, Death, Rebirth

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Tarot deck pictured: The Golden Universal by Lo Scarabeo (with my handwritten astrological notations)

Congratulations. You’ve found yourself in the middle of a Mid-Fall BlogHop. The Tarot BlogHop is a great way to get acquainted with a dozen or so tarot blogs and to immerse yourself in the online tarot community. By the way, if you’re a tarot blogger, please join our next round! Become a member of the TarotBlogHop Facebook group.

Jay, the noble wrangler for this Bloghop has asked us to think about the cycle of death, birth, and rebirth. This is about ruminating on where we are at the end of this Year of Saturn, and Year of the Yin Fire Rooster. We’ll be using the tarot to express those ruminations.

So, okay. I think for this exercise, we were supposed to do, like, actual tarot readings and then talk about our tarot readings. I’ve decided to do something not that. Instead, I’m going to select a card, so I’m intentionally choosing these cards. It’s not a tarot reading. And instead, you start off by interpreting the card I’ve chosen to see if you can anticipate why I chose that card. Then, well, if you want, read on to see my answer. =)

Continue reading “Mid-Fall BlogHop: Birth, Death, Rebirth”

Ku or Taoist Poison Magic | Tinkering Bell #4

“Poison magic” is the English translation for a tradition of black magic, or malevolent spell-crafting, found in Chinese witchcraft and Taoist sorcery, called Gu Dao (蠱道) or Gu Shu (蠱術) [Long form: 蠱道巫術 or Gǔ Dào Wū Shù]. You might also find it translated as Ku.

Those who have read Chapter 13 from The Tao of Craft know my stance on so-called white magic versus black magic, i.e., energy work inherently is neither good nor evil, but it is the intentions that humans put into the work that we may categorize as either good-intentioned or evil-intentioned.

Thus, it is important to note here that Gu Dao is not necessarily evil-intentioned. The tradition of Gu Dao, or Ku, is multi-faceted, nuanced, and complex, which I hope this video will be able to expound upon.

Plus. What better way to talk about baneful magic than through a campy Tinkering Bell video? Exactly.

In my world view, it’s important to start occult study with the elephant in the room. I don’t understand why practitioners would wait until the very end to cover malevolent spell-crafting or not even address it at all. Not addressing it doesn’t change the fact that it exists. Better to address it head-on, with eyes open, get yourself informed, figure out what your own bright line ethical boundaries are, and then continue on your course of study.

Supplemental Handout

Model Code of Ethics for Malevolent Craft

Click on the link to download the PDF

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Homework: Your Practicum

Following each installment of the series will be a suggested practicum, or homework, for you to try out. Homework material presumes that you are an occult practitioner who is working on developing your craft.

Your Code of Ethics: Take this opportunity to reflect on your own code of ethics when it comes to craft. Where do you draw the line when it comes to baneful magic? While I am a strong proponent that all practitioners learn as much about metaphysical craft and occult study as they can, including aspects of craft they might not necessarily agree with as a form of personal practice, I also advocate that you draw bright lines for yourself, write down what those bright line rules are, and then never cross them. For reference, also consider watching two Bell Chimes In videos: (1) Curses and Baneful Craft, and (2) Can’t Curse, Can’t Heal?

Three Poisons Karmic Requital Spell: If the three poisonous ingredients I mentioned in the video are ones you can source easily where you live, then use those. Otherwise, take some time to do research on natural poisons and what can be sourced locally for you. During the episode, take notes on the instructions for how to follow the Three Poisons Karmic Requital spell, a form of Ku, or poison magic. Formalize and organize your notes into a comprehensive how-to that you can add to your personal grimoire. Before adding it to your grimoire, research different poisons and include that research as reference material in your grimoire to go along with the Three Poisons Karmic Requital Spell.

On Tarot Certification – Redux

Italian Playing Cards (circa 15th century). From the Rosenwald Collection at the National Gallery of Art.

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Three years ago I wrote about my experience with tarot certification through the Tarot Certification Board of America, which is now defunct and any piece of paper you received from them is in effect defunct. Fortunately, the experience for me was all about the experience and that was a lot of fun for me. Going through the exercises, motions, and prompts was quite the enrichment, so I have nothing whatsoever to gripe about. I went through the process for the fun of it. Had I gone through the process for the sake of tarot certification, well then, I would probably be quite pissed right about now, considering my grandiose title of Certified Tarot Master is meaningless. (Not that I’m claiming it was ever at some point meaningful, but.. arrgh.. you know what I mean.)

Today, there are dozens of privately-held tarot certification programs out there and lately I’ve been experiencing a trend of inquiries in my inbox asking me for my opinion on tarot certification.

Then, recently…as in last week…there was a bit of a public misunderstanding where some folks thought I commercially endorsed a particular tarot certification program since my name, face, and my words endorsing a totally different thing was attached to that certification program and, well, let’s just say there was some misunderstanding that ensued and my right of publicity was put into question. Fortunately, the misunderstanding was quickly and amicably resolved and all is right with the world again. As a result, I’d like to just memorialize my take on the whole tarot certification issue.

Continue reading “On Tarot Certification – Redux”

The Law of Attraction

This episode from the “Bell Chimes In” series addresses my take on the law of attraction. The episode was inspired by a video by Ania, titled “Rant: Law of Attraction vs. Capitalism.”

I think this episode will make more sense when accompanied by what I have to say in the subsequent episode, “How Magic Works.” A lot of what spiritualists attribute to the so-called law of attraction is in fact a combination of formulas and theorems. Thus, to me, there is no such thing as the law of attraction because every purported event attributed to the law of attraction is in fact a different and unique combination of other principles. I got into it a bit in this video, but I hope it gets rounded out after “How Magic Works.”

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List of 2017 Bell Chimes In Episodes

I started a fun, personal video series via my YouTube channel on September 20, 2017 and so far have produced a set of 15 18 videos for 2017. After I figured out what exactly I wanted to do with the series (about 3 episodes in…starting around October…), I resolved to releasing one new episode every Sunday. For 2017, the episodes will end on Sunday, December 17. [The Sunday episodes will run to the end of the year. See 11/21/2017 Update below.] You can check out the schedule on this page, with direct links to each aired episode.

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Witchcraft and the Witch

It’s the #seasonofthewitch and what better topic to chime in on this October than to tackle the question: who is and isn’t a witch? And what the heck is witchcraft? These are the subjects I chime in on in Episode #6 of Bell Chimes In.

Extending from what was discussed in the video, here’s how I’d define a witch. A witch, or wu, is someone who (1) communes with entities or energies of other realms beyond the material-physical, whether you want to strive for a more science-based outlook and work within the framework of energy transfers and wave function (so in that sense, a realm beyond the material-physical) or you’re committed to the religious perspective, and (2) to achieve (1) works with the four seasons and four directions.

Where did that definition come from? Gotta watch the video to find out. 😉 Continue reading “Witchcraft and the Witch”

Architecture of Sacred Space | Tinkering Bell #3

This is the third installment of a video series on my YouTube channel called Tinkering Bell where I showcase my personal esoteric tinkerings.

Episode #3 Description

There is a common denominator among mystery traditions across the world that instruct on a perfected way for harmonizing human architecture with deity and with nature. In “Architecture of Sacred Space,” I share with you the basic criteria I follow for ensuring a sanctified living space.

This is Part 2 of 2 videos on the architecture and design of sacred space. Part 1 covered harmonic resonance. Part 2 (Episode #3) will cover magnetism, orientation, water, and anchoring. In touring each of these fundamental principles, we also touch down into feng shui, spell-crafting, and so much more.

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Cultural Appropriation

At the heels of Episode #4 on syncretic religious practices, now let’s chat about cultural appropriation. Or is it misappropriation? I get just as confused by the lingo as the next lay person.

In this video, I chat with you about some of my latest thoughts on the topic of cultural appropriation, but focused narrowly on cultural appropriation as it would pertain to religious or spiritual practices.

So this isn’t going to cover cultural appropriation in the fashion industry, in the naming of sports teams, or when commodifying a minority culture to the point of objectification. I’m speaking specifically about adopting the religious or spiritual practices of a culture that isn’t necessarily one that’s part of your DNA.

By the way, I addressed the issue in one of the closing chapters of The Tao of Craft, in Chapter 12. As a preview of the book, you can read the entire chapter right here on my website. Scroll down that page until you get to the PDF link, “A Note on Cultural Appropriation.”

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Sharing Personal Thoughts on Future Public Offerings

Thumbnails from the various episodes of new programming on my YouTube channel.

Gah. When I say “public offerings” I think of IPOs, SEC filings, and companies going public on the stock exchange. That’s, clearly, not what I mean here. It’s the colloquial “public offerings” as in content I’ve been offering up for public access.

This post contains no substantive content. It’s just a personal sharing of where I’m coming from for what’s to come.

Continue reading “Sharing Personal Thoughts on Future Public Offerings”