Dumb

The clock is tick-tick-ticking off its judgments. Tick – stupid. Tick – Hey, stupid. It’s new. I bought it for six bucks at the local five-and-dime. La Virgen de Guadalupe smiles serenely from its face, held aloft by angels.

Black Swan, White Swan... Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Formal logic might be the blackest of magics (and it makes for the most excruciating of reads). Just try figuring out the Black Swan Problem. Read a ton of obnoxious articles by formal logicians – who I imagine wear capes and brood in towers while they go about their dark art of turning language into math – without pushing your thumbs into your eyeballs until they pop.

Donald Duck: High Priest of the Illuminati

Conspiracy theorists are dreadfully thorough, but I guess most of them missed this one: Donald in Mathmagic Land, the 1959 Disney featurette starring Donald Duck which teaches us about the Pythagorean cult, the pentagram, the Fibonacci Sequence, and the Golden Ratio.

Jack Kirby And Comic Book Mysticism

You may not recognize the name Jack Kirby, but if you’ve ever argued with your friends over who gets to be Cyclops when you were playing X-Men in your backyard, then you’ve been touched by his creations.

Eye of the Skeptic

Those “I’m always right” types absolutely need faith, or else those vicious doubts start creeping in. Not only will you find faith in the religious mind, calling God a fact, you’ll also find it lurking in the atheist, saying He isn’t. Come to think of it, anyone who uses the word “fact” so easily must be pretty faithful, at least when it comes to their own nonsense.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Taylor Ellwood On Identity, Space/Time, and Pop Culture Magick -Disinformation

Originally published July 26, 2013 via disinfo.com

There’s only so many times you can read about the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram before you stop paying attention and start daydreaming about what the real Harlem Shuffle looks like. Magic only seems novel the first time you come across it. After that, it tends to just be the same concepts rehashed ad nauseum. Maybe it says something about my own attention span, but if I hear anyone mention the “Rule of Three” again, I’m liable to smash a Stevie Nicks record over their head (author’s note: I have never owned a Stevie Nicks record).

Finding a magician who’s interested in testing the boundaries and really experimenting with their practice is what draws my attention, and Taylor Ellwood has based his whole career on fooling around in territories no one else has touched. As he says on his website, “My focus as a magician is to innovate and experiment with what can be done magically.”

Taylor has studied Neoshamanism, Taoism, Hermetic philosophy, Ceremonial Magic, Buddhist meditation, and a number of other traditions. He is a spiritual coach and the prolific author of Inner Alchemy, Multi-Media Magic, Pop Culture Magick, Space/Time Magick, Magical Identity, among others. He has been a guest on numerous podcasts and has presented classes at PDX HARP and Essential Elements.

Taylor is currently the Managing Non-Fiction Editor of Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press. He lives in Portland, OR.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

DKMU's Assault on Reality and the Ellis Sigil -Disinformation

Originally published July 25, 2013 via disinfo.com

“Consensus reality” is a funny term.  There are some things we can all agree on.  The earth is round (Flat Earth Society). Kittens are cute (I Hate Cats Tees).  The external world exists (David Icke’s Saturn/Moon Matrix theory).  For every absolute you can state, there’s someone out there who will draw a line in the sand and tell you that you’re wrong wrong wrong.  The DKMU turned those lines into trenches, huddled down for the long haul, and started bombarding the rest of us with glitterbombs.

DKMU was a loosely affiliated group of artists and occultists, connected through the internet, who declared war on reality in 2007.  “We cast spells, scribe sigils, open doorways, summon spirits, generate hauntings, design deities, perform rituals on skyscrapers while dropping acid, evoke archetypes around bonfires, imbue our intents within media of all sorts and anything else we might find useful in making the world a more wild, mysterious and liberating place to be.” (dkmu.org)

Members of the group came from all walks of life and traditions, bound together by their desire to make the world a more magical place and amp up the weirdness of everyday life.  There were no leaders, and there seemed to be no coherent philosophy shared by its members.  With heavy nods toward Chaos Magic and Discordianism, the DKMU released a series of videos, music, and visual art that they called, “propaganda,” describing the consensual reality as a kind of prison for creativity and personal freedom.  Their focus was on the practical application of magical techniques, particularly the use of sigils (a symbolic representation of an idea or intent), and the treatment of the individual’s psyche as a laboratory.

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Don't Call Them Superheroes: An Interview With Zero and Dark Guardian of the New York Initiative -Disinformation

Originally published July 14, 2013 via disinfo.com

When I was seven, I told my teacher that when I grew up, I wanted to be a comedian like Johnny Carson. What I didn’t tell her was that I also planned on putting on a mask and fighting crime. Of course, like everyone else, my childhood dreams were shoved through the meat grinder of reality, and I hung up my cape along with my fantasy.

I’d forgotten all about it when, twenty years on, I saw a documentary on HBO entitled Superheroes. It followed grown-ass adults, calling themselves “Real-Life Superheroes” (or RLSH), who dress up in spandex and go out “on patrol.” They even have forums hidden in the backwoods of the internet, where they can trade training tips, war stories, and sweet pics of their sweet costumes.

But one of the groups featured in Superheroes wasn’t like the others. They called themselves the New York Initiative. They were trained in martial arts and parkour, and lived in no-frills apartments filled with exercise equipment. They didn’t wear bright superhero costumes or pose for photos with tourists. They seemed like the real thing, and I was immediately assaulted with concerns about fascism and due process. The idea of actual superheroes in real life, imposing their ideas of “justice” upon the masses was terrifying (see: Watchmen).

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Can Vortex Mathematics Lead to Free Energy, or is It Just More Fluff? -Disinformation

Originally published July 10, 2013 via disinfo.com

I came across the following post in an occult group on Facebook:  “Only God could have created a 9 number system that can encompass infinity with a zero as the emanation [Chaos].”  Just the kind of quirky and weird statement I just can’t pass up.  “I’ll bite,” I commented.

I was led by the poster to a number of videos featuring Marko Rodin, who discovered what he termed, “Vortex Mathematics.”  While attempting to decode the greatest name of God in the Bahá’í faith, using Abjad numerical notation, he created a symbol consisting of the nine arabic numerals inscribed upon a circle.  He called this the “symbol of enlightenment” (shown at right) which he has also referred to as “the mathematical thumbprint of God.”

For me, understanding math is like trying to walk up a grassy hill in the rain with flip flops that are two sizes too large. That being said, I’ll pass on what I do understand.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Saturni and the Value of Lies -Disinformation

Originally published July 6, 2013 via disinfo.com

Trudging through the internet, I came upon one of the wackiest conspiracy theories I’ve ever seen at thesaturni.com:

While we’ve been mindlessly cycling through work and play, a race of Archon-like beings from Saturn has been slowly devouring our world a piece at a time.  The Saturni were originally bodiless astral entities, known to us as gods and devils, who descended into the material world as human beings.  But something went terribly wrong (as it usually should), and they became enamored with their new-found appetites.  You can imagine them as cosmic cannibals, pretending to be humans, who will not be sated until every resource on the earth has been swallowed.  “That guy stealing a parking space from you?  A closet Saturnus.  Intolerant bigots, greedy fat cats, political pundits, politicians?  Yep.  The fact is, the single greatest power the Saturni possess is their ability to appear exactly like every single person you don’t like.”

The website has been created and maintained by the followers of A. P. Bowman, who has “attained quasi-immortal status, conferred on him by one of the primordial Introim, the forebears and absolute enemies of the Saturni.”  There are numerous conflicting accounts of Bowman to be found throughout the site, placing him in the United Kingdom in the 17th century, Paris in 1945, and New Orleans in the 1970s.  I was immediately reminded of the contradictory stories told by members of the Church of the SubGenius regarding their prophet, J. R. “Bob” Dobbs (including numerous incompatible versions of his life as well as his death).

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