A Game of Tarot

Here’s a good little solitaire game that will give you some time with Tarot.  It’s called Queens of Fate.  It’s a good metaphysical and Occult themed game that even though it’s mundane in aspect really carries alot of symbolism if your paying attention.  I’ve been playing it for some time and even though the rules at first are strange, it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it.

So, if you have a bit of free time and want to give it a go, the rules can be found here: Queens of Fate

Perhaps I’ll do a Youtube video on it.  It’s a pretty challenging game, and I like to use it as teaching aid.  When a card comes up I’ll go over its meaning and depending on the time I have I’ll see how it interacts with whats already on the table.  It’s also fun to see what cards ‘defeat’ others or work together to clear another from play.

This is me playing Queens of Fate with my Star Wars Tarot deck:

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Queens of Fate

The main focus of the game takes place with the cards on the blue mat > I keep my Queens at the top, the next layer down are the Court cards, and the next the Minors that come into play.  On the left of the mat the draw pile (Destiny) is on the bottom left, drawn cards go directly to the right (challenge area), and Fate cards above that. My two discarded piles are for Major Arcana which with this Tarot deck are the black boarder cards face up, and the one laying horizontal on the top left face down are the minors along with the court cards – basically anything not a Major Arcana.  My play area differs a little from the rules, but I accomplish the same thing.

I’m not gonna go over the rules, because it takes a bit of practice to understand them fully.  I may post a video shortly playing a few hands.

Overall this is a fun game to play that if you’re open enough can not only be entertaining but also enlightening.

R u A Magician?

This is a prompted response post based on this one from Patrick Dunn’s Postmodern Magic Blog and this one at Nick Farrell’s Blog.  I will immediately say that I disagree with most of Farrell’s opinions on this subject – Dunn is more on par with what I think most Magicians and ‘Serious’ Occultists would agree with.  But then we all are entitled to our view.

Signs that a Magician is what ye be.

1.  Magicians realize that dress is a factor.  Dress is both for you and for others.  How you dress alters societies perception of you and also alters your own perception of self.  Therefore outfits of any sort, whether they carry a social stigma or not will box you into certain social and self given subsets.  Magicians are aware of this and wear whatever they want.  Magicians should never assume that people who dress a certain way live a certain way or are not fellow magicians because of how they do or do not dress.

2. Everyday a Magician does the Work.  This Work does not mean ritual Work or specific  “I am a Magician” Work.  This Work can be reading, research, or mental practice.  It can even be talking the Work or developing future Work.

3. You grow as a person – Not just a Magician or Occultist.  Your life improves because of your studies and due to your Work as a Magician…If not what’s the point.  The trick of being a Magician is realizing that the Work is not the sole reason for the change in your life but because of the choice to be a more Awake and Alive person.

4. Being a Magician does not cause relationships to end.  Being a Magician is an act of intention, some people don’t like this, many people fear those who live intent filled lives – not just Magicians necessarily.  There is no reason to blame the Occult or your Work for a relationship breaking up and if you do perhaps you have other personality issues to deal with.

5 Stuff.  Don’t get caught up in stuff.  I’d even say to get rid of your stuff on occasion, because it’s a crutch and it holds you in the past.  Stuff isn’t bad – but a Magician shouldn’t be anchored to stuff and that it somehow makes the Work more powerful.  It’s fun to use stuff and it can help, but don’t get caught up in it, it’s peripheral to the Work not central to it.

6. Do the Work.  Magicians do shit.  Reading is good, thinking is good, creating is good.  Doing is IT.  Doing means you’re a Magician.

7. Magicians are curious about the world.  Therefore the Occult is not their only interest.  Have hobbies, enjoy the world.  Any Magician or Occultist who says he doesn’t enjoy anything else or has no other interests but the Occult is a sad individual.

8. Social Lives are important.  Have friends, hang out with family.  Being a Magician means you forge relationships with entities and worlds outside of common experience.  If you can’t handle friendships or relationships with real people you will fail as a Magician.

9. A Magician realizes that the Work is not everything.  Life is large, the Work isn’t everything.

10.  Magicians question everything.  They wonder.  Magicians choose to live within mythological constructs, social norms, and/or irrational fictions at will.  Don’t let Truths and Lies be easily labeled – accept that your questions of them are valid and needed.

11.  Literal and Mental are important distinctions to a Magician.  Enough said.  Once you know this the Work is beginning.

12. The Work of the Magician is about living.  A Magician sees the Work as a benefit to himself and his life and uses it appropriately and in ways that are beneficial to him.

Meditation: the horror

Something that bothers me is hearing about the difficulty that Pagans, Occultists, Esotericists have with Meditation, or its practice.

I read this all the time, from people beginning Occult programs or Pagan study.  People even use the excuse that they are a specific Type of Psychological personality and just not capable of Meditation.  What a load.

Here’s a news flash:  You can’t meditate because you don’t meditate.  You’ve been so acclimated to a culture that forces you to externalize every compulsion that it’s impossible, or at least you’ve convinced yourself that it is, to recognize that something good can be internally generated.

A moment

Our culture is so divorced from the Body and the Self and the realization that Wisdom first comes from Self, that meditation, the act of Silence and Self contemplation is utterly horrific.  When did the Body and the Self become second?  When did modern culture so annihilate the human spirit that man can no longer look within for a few minutes in his twenty-four hour day just to Sit and be Still?

The reason why meditation is such a challenge is because you’ve been socialized to think that Wisdom always comes from Outside and that it always has to be about the Struggle of Doing.

Meditation, or Silent Sitting, or Contemplative Breathing reminds one’s Self that you are more than the Busy human being engaged in non-stop action, that you are first an individual of immense importance and truth and that also, at the same time you’re probably not that important but just as important as everything else and that’s wondrously important 🙂

In magic(k) focus and intent are central.  Without a practice of Meditation, a Magician is like a wheel-barrow with no handles – you’ve got all the necessary parts but for that which steers the business around.   Meditation helps you understand your Will, how Energy moves, how concentration changes, and how to be Still and reap the benefits of Calm.

Something else I hear is the lovely excuse from Initiates about how they can only meditate when walking or running or engaged in an artistic endeavor.  As a Runner who loves to Run, I can tell you that Sitting meditation is a whole different ball game.  The concentration that comes from endeavor is wholly different than the benefits garnered from Sitting Meditation.

Disagree with me all you want.  I’m sure there are some who’ll read this and say that I have it all wrong.  Somewhere down the line the difficulty of meditation has been internalized and that Initiate/Dedicant was told that it’s fine to not be able to Sit alone with yourself for 10 long minutes – But why is it such a difficult task?  Is it because in that silence there may be things you’re afraid of? It takes courage to Sit with yourself.  All the Stuff , Books, and Wisdom of this world can’t give you an ounce of what 5 minutes alone can give.

The Magicians/Pagans/Mystics/Occultists first stop on the road to learning begins with the Body.

 

Mysteries Mysteriously Missing

I’ll confess I’m a bit of an old schooler when it comes to believing in keeping secret magickal doings and occult wisdom.  I guess I’m also a hyporcrite then as well, because I’ll be the first to watch that youtube video of the LBRP performed by a lonely black robed magic man in his living room or another performed by a very hip gentlemen in sweet denim and an awesome t-shirt that subtly proclaims him as a Magician to be feared.

In the age of communication and information is anything sacred?  Are we willing, as Pagans and Magicians to publish and post anything just to be seen doing it?  I think some folks who share their altar setups on youtube should ask themselves why their about to let the world see their most private sanctum. And not only see them but make stupid comments about them.

I wonder if the occultists of the Revival era would be so quick to allow such things to be viewable by just anyone.

There is some merit in educating others.  Paganism to me is about community, a large facet to modern Paganism involves working with and helping others to realize their potential as well ones own.  And this Blog, though simple in scope, and not meant to deliver much in the way of my personal workings, does provide and probably will provide some of my personal practices.  I guess I’m of two minds.  When it comes to general Pagan tidbits of lore and practice I don’t see a problem.  But I still like the idea of having to enter an Order, and to be Initiated in order to be privy to the magic(k)al secrets of it’s members and it’s sacred alcoves.

Maybe I’m just an occult romantic….

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Now playing: R. Carlos Nakai – [Ancestral Voices (With Willia] Stone Mirage [foobar2000 v1.0.3]
via FoxyTunes

Podcasts I’m enjoying

Current Favorite Pods:

The Following podcasts are those I have found to be incredibly informative this past month.  I may update Podcasts on a monthly basis.

Great Interview with Cathbad about pagan virtues, a little about the  ADF and some singing:

Interview with Ceisiwr Serith of the ADF regarding Pagan Prayer and a little about the ADF:

Fantastic interview with Kvelduf.  Heathens will find it fascinating, and those of the general Pagan ilk will find it enlightening.