Reducing Stress, Increasing Joy: The Stoicism of Epictetus

odysseus-ship

I am in a new state, in a strange part of the country, with three suitcases and a backpack. I don't have a lot of money, and all of my options seem confusing. Yesterday was a rough day, and today is shaping up to be more of the same. I am a weepy, worrying mess today.So what do you do? Where do you turn? As a Pagan who is facing an adventure fraught with both excitement and fear? I turn to my faith. To my gods. To fate, destiny, synchronicity and magical coincidence. I wrote awhile back that … [Read more...]

The Great Beast 666: Taking Another Look At Crowley

That his bowtie is crooked in this picture gives me an OCD twitch.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. This is my 666th post for this blog. I thought long and hard about what to write for this post. Numerology, sun worship, the influence of Christian eschatology on Pagan traditions, or the obsession with the anti-christ. In the end, I decided to write about Crowley. I've been reading a lot of his work lately.I'll be honest: I have never liked Crowley. He was brilliant, a genius, but I sincerely disliked the man. Then again, a lot of early … [Read more...]

Life Moves Pretty Fast: Learning to Love the Law

The septagram, also known as the Star of bablon, is one symbol of Thelema.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Having a crisis of faith on top of a Saturn's return is a weird thing. The whole purpose of a Saturn's return is to shake your foundations until all the rotten pillars come loose. It's very unpleasant. Part of the process involves you clinging to those rotten pillars as if it were a matter of life and death. You, of course, don't realize that they don't fit your life or feed your soul. It's simply how you expect things to be. And when it … [Read more...]

An Occult Memoir of New York: A Review of James Wasserman’s “In The Center Of The Fire”

in the center of the fire

My feelings regarding books sent to me for review are mixed. I don't have a lot of free time for reading. Reading a book and then reviewing it requires a significant time and energy commitment on my part. So although I feel obligated to review the books sent to me for that purpose, most of them sit in what I term "the stack of good intentions." It sits there boring a hole into my conscience. I feel a sense of relief upon being able to successfully remove a book from that stack, and a sense of … [Read more...]

Needful Stories & Good Advice: Reviews of Low Magick (Lon Milo DuQuette) and The Grimoire of Aleister Crowley (Rodney Orpheus)

low-magick-its-all-in-your-head-you-just-have-no-idea-how-big-your-head-is

I read a lot of news and opinion, and reading for leisure hasn't been a big priority in the past couple of years. I have had a strange week though, and it afforded me some offline downtime. So I read two books, one a recent Kindle purchase, and the other a book that I'd had in my "to read" pile for months. Both are by Thelemites who happen to be active leaders in the Ordo Templi Orientis. Low Magick: It's All In Your Head ... You Just Have No Idea How Big Your Head Is Lon Milo DuQuette I am a … [Read more...]

Will, The Great Work, World Religions, and Other Things

Wyrd bið ful aræd. (Fate is inexorable.) This is one of my favorite phrases from Bernard Cornwell's Saxon saga, and it's grim certainty somehow fits his protagonist, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, like a glove. It seems to dovetail nicely in with Lord Summerisle's quote from The Wicker Tree: "Can fate be altered? This is a question that every religion has tried to answer, and the answer is almost certainly No."I've been thinking about a lot of big questions lately, and haven't come to any s … [Read more...]

Beyond Roses Red and Roses White (Possibly NSFW)

babalon

Writing can become a bad habit, and a simple question can set loose a torrent of words. So when Niki Whiting asked me what I thought of Peter Grey's The Red Goddess last night, I gave a long and complex answer when a simple one would do. Now that all the words are just sitting there, I feel I should form them into a post of some sort. I should warn that there's some frank talk about sexuality in this post, and it is heteronormative. I'm not qualified to speak to any other kind of sexuality, but … [Read more...]

Should Pagans Create Meaning From Scratch? Out of nothing?

I've been sneaking reading into my day, much like the old days under blankets with a flashlight. I got a copy of All Things Shining to review, which rumor has it basically recommends polytheism as the cure for modern nihilism.In the second chapter I found an idea that made me pause, and I invite you to sit with it for a moment, to consider it: "It is as if the true burden of this responsibility—the responsibility to escape from the meaninglessness and drudgery of a godless world by c … [Read more...]

Book Review: Diary of a Drug Fiend by Aleister Crowley

{Aleister Crowley. Diary of a Drug Fiends. Weiser Books 2010. 368 pages. $18.95} Review by Star FosterWhy on earth should you read this book? I know I asked myself that question. What moral, spiritual or religious value could be found within? It is the story of a couple who ride the highs of heroin and cocaine until they find themselves addicted, degraded and enslaved to their habit. Through Thelema they find salvation from the demands of heroin. The book is more than just an advertisement for … [Read more...]


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