What Does It Mean (to Me) to Be Taoist?

Since I made reference to some of these regions, below is an excerpted Appendix E from I Ching, The Oracle (North Atlantic Books, forthcoming 2023).

While the maps are not drawn to scale (I did them myself, by hand…) at least they help to give you a mental reference of where these kingdoms or states are located in geographical relation to one another.

Excerpt from Appendix E of I Ching, The Oracle (June, 2023):
Shang (1600 – 1045 BC) and Zhou (1046 – 256 BC)

Continue reading “What Does It Mean (to Me) to Be Taoist?”

The Rebellious Origins of Witchcraft (Taoist Magic Edition)

What is your hypothesis on the correlation or connection, if any, between witchcraft (/ceremonial magic) and rebellion?

Uh, Wait… Are you conflating witchcraft, folk magic,  and ceremonial magic??

Yeah. Kinda. =/

This 2019 post ruminating on witchcraft vs. ceremonial magic offers some context. I wrote it while I was trying to figure out a title for my then forthcoming course Witchcraft Fundamentals.

Now that I think about it some more, “witchcraft” is probably not even the right term to be using. “Folk magic” might be the better descriptive? What do you think?

Are Esoteric Taoist Traditions Closed or Open?

Don’t forget– if it helps, turn the closed captioning on! =)

When I say “open tradition,” I mean a culture-specific practice of a magical system and set of doctrinal beliefs integrated into that practice that anyone at all can work with for themselves, that it’s free and open to the public.

When I say “closed tradition,” I mean a culture-specific practice of a magical system and set of doctrinal beliefs integrated into that practice that can only be honorably accessed if certain conditions are met, such as initiation; heredity; clan or ethnic group membership; or a formally established master-student bond.

My third book, I Ching, The Oracle: A Practical Guide to the Book of Changes, published by North Atlantic Books, is forthcoming mid-2023. It’s my translation and annotations of the Oracle with cultural and historical references that honor the shamanic origins of the I Ching.

What it really is, though, is a magical grimoire. I began with an aspiration to write a grimoire on Taoist mysticism and magical practices, and then decided to do so through the framework of the I Ching. This is going to be a practical hands-on primer on East Asian modalities of witchcraft and folk magic. A deep-dive learning experience into the history and mythological references found in the Book of Changes is the bonus.

Leading up to the release of I Ching, The Oracle will be this series of videos where I lay the foundation for working with this third book. If this is of interest to you, stay tuned! ❤

Taoist Witches? What is Asian Witchcraft?

In my previous blog post recapping NWTS 2022, I talked about how much I enjoyed the “Which Witch is Which” lunch panel discussion. So that you don’t have to click between pages, here’s what I said about it:

The best part of all? Hands down, the Which Witch is Which lunch panel discussion. Each practitioner on the panel represented a different perspective on witch identity and witchcraft, from whether they identify with the moniker “witch” (some yes, some no), what is witchcraft anyway, and their takes on covens, solitary practice, closed vs. open traditions, altars, ancestor work, and more.

Thank you, Mat, for giving a shout-out to Taoist ceremonial magic! And wish the incredible Onareo, who was present in the audience with me, could have also been up there on the panel to represent brujeria.

In this Bell Chimes In video chat, I wanted to ruminate on my own responses to the questions “Do you identify as a witch?” and “What is witchcraft, to you?”

Answers to those two questions are not at all easy to arrive at.

Continue reading “Taoist Witches? What is Asian Witchcraft?”

Tarot Deck Collecting and Consumerism: My Thoughts

I’ve had a working draft of this blog post, on this topic, started in 2020, and already I was feeling late to it, since it was a topic trending in 2019. Life and other priorities got in the way so I left this draft unfinished.

In 2021 I started seeing this topic discussed with fervor again. It inspired me to reopen this post. I worked on it some more, but again, just didn’t care to finish my train of thought, for whatever reason.

Now it’s 2022 and this same exact topic of conversation in the tarot community is still going strong.

Maybe this time I can finally finish what I was trying to say. I’ll divide up my thoughts by the recurring subtopics or points of argument you hear when community members start talking about tarot deck collecting, culling, and consumerism.

To balance out the paragraphs of text, I’ll be sharing random photos of decks you’d spot around my house.

Continue reading “Tarot Deck Collecting and Consumerism: My Thoughts”

Oracle of Novice Witches Look-See

Oracle of Novice Witches is a 50-card deck featuring 24 witches and wizards from history and folklore, 13 tools of the craft, and 13 animal familiars. The deck was created by Francesca Matteoni and with art by Elisa Macellari.

The full-color guidebook accompanying the cards features a profile summary of every witch and wizard depicted. Entries for the tools of craft define each tool’s purpose and how it’s generally used. For the familiars, animal symbolism and correspondences are provided.

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DIY your own SKT study journal

click to download high-res 4 MB journal cover (back and front), for spiral-bound production

If you have MS Word, then you can use all the templates in this post to create your own spiral-bound tarot journal keyed to the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot.

Convert your final document to PDF and upload it onto a third-party print-on-demand publishing site like Lulu.com.

The above cover design is for 6″ x 9″ trade paperback size journals, spiral bound.

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The Corpus Hermeticum / Divine Pymander (text download)

I’m currently reconstructing an Etteilla tarot deck, and as part of my process, I’m deep-diving into the Divine Pymander (one version of the Corpus Hermeticum) because Etteilla was reportedly obsessed with the Pymander and gave that text a great deal of sacred authority.

And so to do a proper Etteilla deck, I thought I had better get myself familiarized with this text that he personally placed so much importance on.

(Kinda like how, in order to get into Eliphas Levi, I had to first get into the Key of Solomonhyperlinked Key of Solomon will take you to a free text download)

So I compiled the 1650 Everard translation of the Divine Pymander and the 1906 Mead translation of the Corpus Hermeticum tractates together into a book for convenient referencing. These texts date back to the 2nd century AD, if not earlier, and are discourses in the form of Socratic dialogues on the nature of God (divinity), humanity, the mind, alchemy, and astrology. You’ll also find a lot of crossover with Gnostic doctrine.

As far as I can gather, the Pymander and the body of texts referred to as the Corpus Hermeticum are the same, except there are more tractates, or books, in the Pymander than there are in Mead’s 1906 translation of the Corpus Hermeticum. Since both are included in this compiled book, you can do your own due diligence. In this text download, I’ve also included a few inserts from the Nag Hammadi discovered in 1945 and now added to the Hermetic corpus.

Continue reading “The Corpus Hermeticum / Divine Pymander (text download)”

Working with My 2022 Metaphysician’s Day Planner

So if you saw me share this video earlier but it was the same video as the one on the Day Planner pre-order page about how to upload to Lulu, then you saw the wrong video. I took that down and re-uploaded with the correct video. Serves me right for naming both video files “2022 day planner how-to.” Totally confused me this morning when I went to upload to YouTube.

THIS video walks you through how I’m filling in the different page sections of the day planner. Sorry, it’s been one of those weeks. I’m frazzled and fried. Going to go take a nap now. Thanks.

BA GUA (EIGHT TRIGRAMS) PRINT-OUT

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