Showing posts from February, 2015

Raising Rabbits

Cute little soon-to-be bastards Raising rabbits for meat is a whole different kettle of fish from raising chickens. Rabbits start out as pink little wiggly fingerlings, and slowly grow into the cutest fluff balls imaginable. While young, they eat and eat and eat, until they are about 5-10 pounds. They never really lose their cuteness, always being fuzzy and generally passive if not affectionate. There is a brief window, between 120 and 150 days, where they are absolute bastards. This is called puberty. They start to go from being 'safety in numbers, why can't we all get along' to 'You inna my space and I'm gonna kill you!'. Then, after 150 days, they become all about survival again, and are fine to deal with. Still solitary, a little annoyed at being bothered, but much less annoying. Coincidentally, if you're raising meat rabbits, you slaughter them between 120 and 150 days. Rabbit meat is lean, delicious, and generally not eaten in the U.S. Producti

Raising Chickens

Raising chickens may seem like an odd occupation for a Gnostic. There is nothing more hylic than the little feathered automatons that make up a major portion of our food supply. Per Captia consumption in 2012 shows Americans eat about 250 eggs and 60 chickens per year. So, these little birds are a major reason Americans, at least, have physical bodies at all. The average american chicken is raised in a factory farm. That means they're kept in facilities like the one in the picture: Long rows of chickens, 5 to 10 hens in each chage, packed as closely together as possible. The facility pictured here is an egg production facility. Hens produce eggs for 1 to 2 years, after which they are processed for dog food or chicken broth, or simply suffocated with carbon dioxide and discarded in landfills. Male chickens are of little utility to these facilities, so as chicks they are sorted, and the male chickens are disposed of in cruel manners. You can find more information about the process

My love of Haiku

Haiku by a Robot: Seven Hundred Ten Seven Hundred Eleven Seven Hundred Twelve - Nathan Beifuss (aspiring Robot) I love poetry, but I especially love the Haiku . It's a very simple poetical form, very modern, and ideally suited to our modern sensabilities. The link above explains the format (5-7-5 syllables per line, three lines) and the history, as well as the major formal parts (cutting, seasonality) and how best to work it in English. It's a bite sized, twitter friendly, internet made format. Short, pithy, yet able to be quite deep and quite expressive. I tend to turn them humorous, but sometimes the humor becomes deep. It's also fun for kids. It involves counting, as the above haiku demonstrates. It also forces you to make word choices that can have interesting effects on sentence structure, especially in English. To finish off my Haiku post, I thought I'd post some that I've written recently: Went to bed early Three A.M. and I'm awake Coyotes

The speed of change

I am not sure if it's like this for other people, but for me, things change very quickly. It's always been that way. Back in college, I was dating a girl, we had a great birthday dinner. It was an amazing night: we had a fancy meal, we went to Guys and Dolls, her favorite musical, then had an amazing dessert and a walk around Madison. Next day, she dumped me, because she realized she didn't love me or want to spend more time with me. Thirty days later I was living in New Orleans with a shaved head and no idea what I was doing. Thirty days after that, I ended up falling into my profession as a computer programmer. Six months later I was married. All of that happened quite quickly, as far as I'm concerned. So it is with a great deal of trepidation that I announce a new season of change is upon me. I'm not as nimble as I was back in college: Now I have a family, a business, and a household. But new changes are coming, and in the end they will be good. But livin

The lessons of Atlantis

I have to admit, I've never thought of Atlantis much. However, Thursday Night I was treated to a lovely introduction to the subject at the Hermetic Fellowship.  In a speech called " Mention My Name in Atlantis ", which is the title of a humourous book by John Jakes, our speaker brought us through the various mentions and memes of Atlantis, from the first days to the geographical and historical searches for the lost city. Atlantis is first mentioned by Plato, in the works Timaeus and Critias . From Timeaus: This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable; and there was an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Heracles; the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbour, havi

The changing landscape of communication

A friend of mine was recently banned from Facebook, because he was using a pseudonym. I've never felt the need to use a pseudonym on Facebook, as I’m both fairly mundane in my postings there, and fairly naïve about how the data is used. I’m sure it’s mined 7 ways from Sunday, but most of my data is of so little use as to be laughable. However, he brought up a couple good points. I asked him if it was an opportunity for growth, and he responded: 'no just an opportunity to discover how the changing landscape of communication favours isolation... I'd rather be alone in a crowd than alone in my room.' The online world gives us the illusion of being with others, while still being able to maintain our ‘security’ or ‘anonymity’. We can interact without having to actually interact. In my mind, that’s becoming more and more of a bad thing. I use Facebook as much as anyone. It’s on my phone, and usually open in my web browser. I use it most when I’m bored or tired

Shameless self promtion

Over on the side bar, I have a new link, to an amazon affiliate store. I'll be putting up links  to the books I reference in the store. If you feel the need to buy said book, I get a little advertising income from your purchase. So if it's something you were going to buy anyway, give it a shot .

The Square

Last night I was privileged to visit Esoterika Lodge #227 in Portland, OR. They put on a good lodge meeting. One of the talks that night was by our own Jason Thu , speaking about the Confucian Man and the Masonic Man, and the similarities between Confucian and Masonic virtues. I love going to the masonic lodge. It's really a place to both dress up and put on your best face, and at the same time let your hair down* with people who will most likely understand what you're talking about when you bring up Giadorno Bruno, the Art of Memory, Pseudo-Dionysus, or other various topics which are near and dear to my heart, and to few other people. No series on Geometry would be complete without talking about the Square. When we get to 4 points, 4 lines, 4 angles, our choice of shapes becomes manifold. We have rectangle, the square (a special rectangle), the parallelogram, the rhombus, the trapezoid, and last but not least, the quadrilateral. But it is the square I'm primarily co

The Triangle

The first two dimensional shape we encounter is the triangle.  Three points, three lines, three angles. Length and width (base and height). Three is our first step out of abstraction, and into the visible, the intelligible, that which has form. The triangle can contain space, dividing it into 'inside' and 'outside' the triangle. Granted, it's only 2 dimensions, but there are clear demarcations. I think this is why the Christian God is a Trinity. Creation is finite. It is contained, and it is contained within God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Within, Creation. Without... ??? Void? Nameless, immeasurable, incomprehensible nothing? Maybe it's Trinity all the way out... The Triangle shows up everywhere. It forms the basis of all the alchemical elemental symbols. They come to us from Agrippa,* and now seem fairly universally used in Western Alchemy. Three is the number of Binah, the first Sephira on the Tree that relates to form, existence. The first that

The Line

The line is the next symbol in Geometry. It connects two points, and technically contains an infinite number of points. It has one dimension, length. It can be used to separate one piece of space from another, but unless there is a third point, it can contain neither space. The line is the basis of all other shapes: Circles, triangles, squares, runes, letters, etc. Without the line, you won’t make any. Any line can be subdivided into two smaller lines. The line is important in masonry, primarily in the form of the plumb line, but lines abound. The plumb line is a tool used by ancient masons to determine verticals.  It consists of a string, which has a piece of metal (usually lead) tied to the bottom. When used, it hangs straight down, and for masons it is a symbol reminding us to be upright in all our dealings, not crooked, straight*. The line is also sometimes a demarcation. You can go this far, no farther. You must not cross the line. Or you may walk the line, as Johnny


For me, meditation is usually prefaced by a supreme amount of arm waving. Kabbalistic Cross, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, Middle Pillar, stretches, invocations, banishings, stars, triangles, squares. There's a surprising amount of preparation that usually goes into sitting. Today, I was tired. I've been tired since 'close the gap' during Advent. So today, I lit the candles, set the timer for 15 minutes, and just sat. I didn't do centering prayer. I had no word, no center to return to. I didn't do guided meditation. I had no theme for my sitting. There was no chanting, no framing, nothing. Just sitting. It was surprisingly successful. My mind wandered to this and that, but at the end of it, I was less tired. At the end of it, I wasn't mourning quite as much. I'm mourning because my dog Jes died on Valentine's day. She was my meditation buddy. Every morning, she'd come, and sit in my lap after I had done my arm waving. I&

The Point

Almost every esoteric practice I've looked at starts with or mentions the Point. Geometry, Golden Dawn, Freemasonry, Friary. The point is very important, central, the source and the destination; one must get to the point. So, I'm thinking about the point of this blog. I originally started it as a way to start chronicling my journey's through gnosticism, then freemasonry, magical work, etc. I started it 10 years ago, in August of 2005. A lot has changed since then. A lot hasn't. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Lent is upon us, and during Lent I try to chose a spiritual practice to explore. I think this year, I'll explore blogging again. That's the point, to write. I make no guarantees my writing will be profound, or thematic, but I will put up a post for the lenten days (40 days, 40 posts. Sundays are optional). There is a blogger I read who writes at least 3 posts every day. Some of these posts come from comments, some of it is news of t