Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #42 (I'm not sure I'm exactly entertaining enough to be entertainment)

Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #42 (I'm not sure I'm exactly entertaining enough to be entertainment)
By John Bell the Librarian • Issue #89 • View online
This week I’ve got crafting easy metal sigils, Halloween advent calendars are a thing, congrats on 25 years to Internet Archive, questionable Hermetic Library professionalism, an AC/DC style SD/HD image for reasons, reminders, updates, quotes, reviews, and more!
And, as always, I worked on various other things on website, blog, and more … Enjoy!

Metal sigils
Here’s a tip for easily making sigils and designs on metal. I can’t guarantee they’ll be 🤘 METAL AF 🤘 but maybe! This is a method I learned way back in the Naughties, and have kept it in mind over the years.
Here’s the tip. Get some 36 or 38 gauge metal sheets and ball point pens. Using regular scissors, but maybe not your best ones, cut out 2"-3" squares and then start drawing with the pen on the metal. You might want to put something semi-firm under the metal, like a paper notebook, both to have some give and also to not, you know, emboss your design into your table. Go wild! Draw whatever you want in the moment, or maybe you’ve got some design or device you’ve got in mind ahead of time. Once you’ve got the design drawn, just wash off the ink! Voilà!
Here’s a couple examples of these I’ve done over the years. These have seen better days, and have gotten beat up a bit by the whips and scorns of time, but you’ll get the idea!
Spooky season Samhain spiral & pumpkin pentacle
Spooky season Samhain spiral & pumpkin pentacle
Simple meditative mandala
Simple meditative mandala
Thelemic / Kemetic deity & labyrinth circle
Thelemic / Kemetic deity & labyrinth circle
Back in the before times, one could go to any art and craft supply store and pick up a little metal foil embossing kit. Inside the tube would be a sheet of copper and a wooden embossing stylus.
Wooden embossing styli from kits
Wooden embossing styli from kits
If you’ve watched the videos where I’m stuffing Postal Exchange envelopes, you may have already seen these little sticks before. They’re also great for helping make paper folds neater. Although, you might also consider, for both paper and foil an actual bone stylus of some kind, like those used in book making.
So, instead of ball point pens, you could use anything with a point, like pencil or wooden stylus. I think one advantage of the ball point pen method is that your design is really easy to see whilst you’re working on it, though you might also end up with ink on your hands to wash off as well, but you do you!
Nowadays copper is harder to find, and more expensive when you can find it. Also, please, shop at the least evil crafting store you can, if you do.
I looked online and you can get rolls of thicker foil sheets and wooden embossing styli separately still, but the only one I found that had both together was is some retailer I’ve not heard of before, but it’s kinda spiffy, and more complete than the sets I’ve picked up in the past.
This can be a great activity for solitary work and in groups, in ritual or meditation, or soever. These last forever, relatively speaking, so can become great items for ongoing use. So keep it in your bag of tricks along with any other crafty ritual imagery and sigilization techniques you have been using.
Also, one last tip. If you’re cutting out circles and shapes, you may end up with scraps. You can also use those to make little objects, like, for example, these single runes I did at one point for reasons.
Scraps used for single runes
Scraps used for single runes
If you really get into this, you might find this is a gateway to other crafting activities. For example, there’s just a step to the right from here to doing paper embossing. There’s finer syli and metal templates to do that kind or work.
Embossing tool and template for paper
Embossing tool and template for paper
If you find you’ve got, say, oh, I don’t know, a lamen of some kind you might do often enough … having a metal template of that might be worth looking into getting made, or else look into die cut “notary public” style tools, which you can use for all kinds of things, including ex libris marks.
"Notary public" style embossing tool
"Notary public" style embossing tool
From there, a jump to the left takes you into the whole world of handcrafting actual books, which is a whole crafting rabbit hole you might fall into at some point for your own Book of Shadows, grimoire, and so on!
Halloween advent
I don’t think I’d seen these before. Are Halloween advent calendars an actual thing, or is this new? 13 days isn’t long enough, imho tho; but, next year, there’s a Hocus Pocus themed Halloween 13-day advent calendar: Hocus Pocus: 13 Frights of Halloween due July 2022.
This is also matched with Hocus Pocus: The Official Tarot Deck and Guidebook, also due in July 2022.
I’m more of a Practical Magic fan, than I am of Hocus Pocus, tbh. But, these are interesting and the first I’ve noticed the spooky season advent. However, apparently, there’s a ton of Halloween advent items over on Etsy.
Who knew? I do now, maybe you do too!
25 years
Turns out Hermetic Library isn’t the only venerable site having a 25th year in 2021. The Internet Archive’s first Wayback crawl, apparently, happened in October 1996, 25 years ago. Well, check out Internet Archive’s landing page about that, if you’re interested.
That was just a couple months before Hermetic Library’s domain was registered, but congrats to them from one venerable site to another. We survived! Good on us!
Over on Twitter, there’s some new options to mark one’s account as a “professional” account. You can read more about that at Introducing Twitter for Professionals. I think they’re kinda starting to try something like the difference between personal accounts and pages on Fb.
Honestly, it seems mostly an attempt on their part to sell more ads and get people to promote tweets more, neither of which I’m interested in.
But there might be some features that I’d find useful for the library. One of the “advanced profile” features is the newsletter thing that already appears on my profile anyway, if taking a look via web or iOS. So, maybe there’s not much point in it, since I’m already getting that.
I mean, yeah, I guess I’ve got a professional account. Kind of a brand, kind of a creator. I don’t know which for sure, but probably more of a professional creator, yeah? I mostly tweet as the Librarian instead of the Library, tbh; so it’s kind of a “Librarian of Hermetic Library” instead of a more proper “Hermetic Library” brand account would be. At least, it’s been more and more the former over the years, though I originally was thinking it would remain more the latter.
All in all, the account is for something that is more of a vocation than a profession, I suppose.
But, if the library account were a “professional” account what the heck “industry” would it be? Education? Entertainment? Other? Over on Fb, I have the page for the Library listed as Website, but that doesn’t appear to be an option.
There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of “book” or “library” related industry categories available, so the taxonomy is pretty limited. (A taxonomy geared more toward the industries that they care to exploit and extort for cash?)
“Entertainment” might be a way to go. Although, you know, based on my analytics, I’m not sure I’m exactly entertaining enough to be entertainment. Bwahahah *cough* yeah.
I’m having an existential crisis over here! Okay, not really, but it is a conundrum.
“Other” would probably the most technically accurate out of the options, tbh. But also not a lot of taxonomical synergy or opportunity there to be had, I suspect.
Welp, it’s a thing I’m thinking about this week and I’ll think some more on’t.
AC/DC style SD/HD
AC/DC style SD/HD
Look, I have nowhere else to share this. I checked around and it seems like this hasn’t been done before? Sorry, not sorry.
Changing the clock an hour is a helluva drug.
Pitch an Idea
Send something for the Zine
Things to check out at Hermetic Library
And on the blog
What the Hell Did I Just Read
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John Bell the Librarian
By John Bell the Librarian

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