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    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    Yeah. It's possible that he was involved with luring Hess to Britain, on the recommendation of Ian Fleming. But again, this is possibly just more bollocks.

    During the first world war, he was regarded as a traitor, because he wrote propaganda for Germany. However, the information he gave the Germans, and the material he prepared was so ridiculous that it harmed their cause rather than helped it. The fact that he wasn't arrested on his return to the UK, and indeed, that all his debts were written off, seems to suggest that was was working for British Intelligence at this point, rather than against them.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    I ought to mention in all fairness, the concept of Nazi adepts using the emotional energy of the camps for some great dark working is just me spitballing (Mostly for a interesting game concept) I certainly don't believe in demoniacally powered assasins or any other such thing. But it's fun to speculate.

    Still, they did co-opt the swastika as their personal symbol. They did effectively create a "Religion" where Germany was the most important thing above all. The SS was organized along the lines of a mystick knighthood. Maybe the Thulists disbanded but it's not as if the beliefs they promulgated disappeared like dew on the grass.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    There are very, very few good books on witchcraft and paganism. Avoid anything published by Llewellyn Press. -Oddcult

    I own one Llewellyn Press book. It's called THE COMPLETE BOOK OF AMULETS AND TALISMANS by Migene Gonzalez-wippler. I found it very informative, but was wondering if you had any opinon about it or its author. One thing I noticed about the book was that it had a section in the table of contents called "bloodmagic" but there wasn't a word in the actual book that discussed bloodmagic. I wonder if this was cut out.

    On magical texts in general it seems like all the texts are nothing more than--not to knock anyones system of belief--glorified derivations of older texts. I'm currently interested in a more scholarly look at magic and its history.
  1.  (30.4)
    I'm really glad Ali Pulling (Oddcult) is here.
  2.  (30.5)
    Good recommendations above - though I'd say the criticisms on Buckland go at least triple for Crowley - as dear old Uncle Fester left a lot of deliberate booby-traps in his rites as a laugh. Tread carefully.

    Anyone interested in the Western tradition wanting a solid and entertaining intro could do far worse than Alan Moore's 'Promethea'. For Chaos and Voudon styles, you'll learn a fair bit from Grant Morrison's 'The Invisibles'. Yeah, they're comic books.
    • CommentAuthorAlexa_D
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    I personally can't wait for Alan Moore's "one-stop grimoire" (as he once described it).
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    any reccomendations on good references for Tarot either online or in print?
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    One of the issues of Promethea has a pretty good guidebook in it. In rhyme no less.

    I like the Crowley Tarot book by Akron-Hajo Banzhaf
    And also Gerd Zeigler's book on the crowley deck "Tarot: Mirror of the Soul"

    A more general work is a "Complete Guide to the Tarot" by Eden Gray, but by the age of my copy i suspect it's out of print.

    The Tarot advice i can give is that sooner or later, you come up with interpretations of the various card. Don't fight this. Sooner is better than later.

    Frex: In the crowley deck the 8 of wands is normally considered to be the key to "Clear, swift, direct communication" A bolt from the blue if you will. For a while there i was getting it a lot and not understanding what it was refering to. Until i noticed that it pre-saged every single knock-down drag-out argument between me and the lady i was living with at the time.

    Oddly enough, it seemed as if i could only discover important things about the one i loved the hard way...

    Love makes you do the whacky.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    Yeah I have read that Promethea actually.

    I guess, like, I'm not sure how the interpretations should be coming to me.
    Like, mostly what I read is just someone telling me what cards mean to...whoever.
    But I've not yet come accross anything that suggests strategies for determining one's own concepts.

    Also, do you tend to focus more on like the imagery of a card? Or do you ever consider the suit and number and what those factors in combination might mean? Or ...I don't know.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2007
    The way i read tarot is atypical i think. I don't really do it in a way that is magickal. I consider the cards to be like a system of symbols. By manipulating the symbols and their meanings, i am trying to shake up my own mental patterns and also dowse my subconcious mind.

    I don't look for anything larger to work through me, but i pay attention when it does. In a crowley deck you read each card right side up. Each card has positive and negative aspects. I guess he felt like you ought to be able to feel the difference, instead of relying on a second set of "reversed" meanings.

    Also: Court cards can be tricky because they can be read as a state of being or a person the querrent knows. Sometimes you'll just know.

    As far as looking for ways to determine your own concepts. Look at the patterns of your own life. If the card deck you are working is right in your groove, you may start to see that that ace of swords is all about the "Eureka!" moment or the search for same.

    I don't know if i'm explaining this well. I don't think i've ever tried to explain this formally to anyone else.

    I do look for preponderances of suits in layout. The other night i read for a friend and she reported that the swords and cups were a regular feature in her readings. Heart and mind at war is what i told her.

    I also pay attention to the number of major arcana. If you got only a few, it means that maybe there isn't much going on in your life, but that you are for the most part, in control of it. On the other hand, when there are a lot, it means that all the pieces in your personal game are on the board. But it also means you are being Squeezed By The Forces Of Destiny.

    I pay a little bit more attention to cups. I know that when the emotional life is out of whack, nothing seems as if it's working right. No matter what's really going on.

    Look, as far as tarot goes, memorize the keywords, but then start connecting them up to your own experience as best you can. Trust your gut.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2007
    Yeah. I have to agree that Promethea is probably one of the most important magical texts of recent years.

    Also, the letters page of Issue 16 of the Invisibles contains all anyone really needs to know about Chaos Magic.

    THE COMPLETE BOOK OF AMULETS AND TALISMANS by Migene Gonzalez-wippler. I found it very informative, but was wondering if you had any opinon about it or its author.

    Sorry. Not read it.

    I'm currently interested in a more scholarly look at magic and its history.

    Start with Ronald Hutton, Graham Harvey and Owen Davies' works. Google them and you'll find there's plenty of references online. The is also a Journal for the Academic Study of Magic., which you might find interesting.
  3.  (30.12)
    You might want to start a separate thread for tarot, since I know we have at least one tarot expert in the room.
    • CommentAuthorAlexa_D
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2007
    Kinesys, I actually read Tarot in exactly the same way. Much more as a way of unlocking my own mind, a more complex Rorschach test of sorts.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2007
    Alexa: Do you find that even though you're not looking for "guidance" that you tend to get it anyway?

    And do you also find that it's way easier to read for other people than for yourself? I always seem to be too close to the problems to see them clearly. Sometimes i can and other times i have no idea what the cards are trying to tell me. But in reading for other people, i simply don't have the same problems.
  4.  (30.15)
    "You might want to start a separate thread for tarot, since I know we have at least one tarot expert in the room."

    I'd be most thankful for that! I've got a bunch of research to do on Tarot, and I don't really know where to start.
    • CommentAuthorAlexa_D
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2007
    Kinesys, re: the guidance question: YES. Although, do your cards ever play games with you? Because one time I had a reading seem to tell me that my answer could be found from a man in religious authority, only to accidentally find the answer at Bishopsgate Institute. (Which was much more in line with my agnosticism.)

    However, I find that I have better success doing readings for myself than for other people. Or at the very least, the other people never let on to how much or how little I've helped, so I believe the worst. I tend to be highly critical of myself (though usually constructively), so I don't really have an issue with being "too close" to my problems. By the time I turn to the cards, I've usually picked apart the problem to its essential parts, and the cards just help me rearrange them, as it were.
    • CommentAuthorhank
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2007
    Cat: Those are in there to catch the unwary and to make things more obscure. Plus I think he rather enjoyed messing with people's perceptions.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2007
    There have been times when i have read the tarot only to receive the equivalent of "DUH! You already know what the problem is..."
    And there have been other times when i've read them and found them near completely impenetrable. But usually it was because i really couldn't actually FACE the problem at hand.
    But I don't think i've ever had them play game with me. I think my deck knows i'm far too thick for that sort of thing.
    • CommentAuthoradrian r
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2007 edited
    Cat Vincent: "the criticisms on Buckland go at least triple for Crowley - as dear old Uncle Fester left a lot of deliberate booby-traps in his rites as a laugh. Tread carefully."

    Examples please? I've heard this before, but no one has ever got specific.

    As for Tarot, I've learned a lot from NLP trainer Michael Breen, who is something of an authority on Hermeticism, Alchemy and Tarot. He recommends a basics-first system starting with elemental dignities, an approach covered with a minimum of fuss over at
    • CommentAuthorhank
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2007
    Crowley makes references to killing babies and/or eating the young. Euphemisms for masturbation and the seminal component in cakes of light.

    There are others...