Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #46 (Don't talk to me until I've invoked my Will)

Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #46 (Don't talk to me until I've invoked my Will)
By John Bell the Librarian • Issue #99 • View online
This week I am pondering coffee, orbs, NFTs, magick, poor magicians, titles, privilege, smashing it, the point, valid spiritual paths, Thelemic jurisprudence, characters on the Tree of Life, G∴ Woman 23, an awful egotist, war on christmas; as well as reminders, updates, quotes, reviews, merch, and mailing season’s greetings!
And, as always, I worked on various other things on website, blog, and more … Enjoy!

Pondering my forthcoming O Coffee! invocation mug merch …
“… the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning …”
Don’t talk to me until I’ve invoked my Will.
(☝️ That last one is totally going to end up on something. One of the next round of mugs?)
Okay, okay, I mean, yeah, technically the 2nd and 3rd images are, indeed, of the same character and orb. But it’s a big mood? Um. One’s Saruman’s red and the other blue period of work? (Hey, aren’t you glad I didn’t write “red period”? Oops. Never mind.)
NFTs are just the crypto version of being in contact with the Secret Chiefs, so get yourself in contact with a traditional Secret Blockchain Master to acquire your ritual crypto miner and get to work churning out those EgregOre and NFTulpa tokens!
1 Build it with intention
2 Cast it with correspondences
3 Eucharist with meat & drink
4 Build your egregore
5 Say just enough
6 Ground what is left
Don’t waste it
Poor magicians
Too often the facile and abusive idea is floated: “If magick works, why aren’t witches and wizards all rich?”
Real wizards and witches are often poor because they’re artists. They’re struggling with and against all the same issues that artists and creatives do in the world. A world that doesn’t often value their work, let alone their existence.
By the by, I deny the premise that “being rich” is a valid measure of success of and in one’s work, literally any work, in fact, let alone the reason for doing the work. Also, the idea of “work” is loaded. Hey, if capitalism works, why aren’t all working people rich?! Why do so many people engage in or get suckered by get-rich-quick scams? Huh. What could the answer to that one possibly be?
Anyhow, the work of creatives, wizards, and witches, when discovered and valued at all, is often only “highly valued” after they are dead. Then, it is those that they struggled against who cash in on the cachet as fetishistic collectors.
(No true scotsman sells out!)
Imagine how many Emily Dickinsons of magick there might have been who were never discovered or known, who’s sister followed through and burned their papers instead of saving them, if there were any … and that’s all now lost.
Imagine how different the culture of magick would be today if the Golden Dawn materials and the Book of Shadows hadn’t been published openly like seed balls being thrown into abandoned lots to spread and potentially become beautiful and new growth.
Oye Occultalowda, sasa ke?
I have to admit to a personal prejudice. It seems to me that life is too short to read books with covers where the author’s name is larger than the title. I tend to avoid as a red flag any book with a cover like that because it’s trying to sell me the wrong thing. Simply put it seems to me that it’s obviously trying to sell a brand not a book on its merits as a whole.
If you think the universe arranges itself in your favour so that its momentum gets you what you want, you’re not practicing magick. You’re exercising privilege.
Smash it
Apropos of nothing *cough* the burning down of Fox’s fucking tree being covered like another 9/11 *cough* I bring you the lyrics to my unfinished song “smash it”:
smash it smash it
kill the christmas tree
stomp it stomp it
and give the remains to me
I’ll tie it tie it
tie it in a knot
in the basement basement
it will surely rot
(written who knows when, posted 2006 on my personal blog)
The point
Mat Auryn
Ceremonial Magician’s critique on someone’s spell: “Whether it actually works or not is not what is important.”

This is one of the reasons I identify the most with “witch.” Because for me, whether or not it works is THE most important part of a spell, working, or ritual. YMMV.
I mean, “success is your proof” also. But I wonder what they thought the point was. Ars gratis artis? Ritual experience as the purpose of ritual, almost tautologically? Ritual as exercise of discipline to do? I mean, I can imagine an argument for that idea, but …
What’s an experiment without results one way or the other? (Answer: not finished.)
Here’s I think where the distinction resides. Is the idea of what “works” only that it provides the results one wanted?
What’s an experiment with results that are not what one wanted? (Answer: still science.)
Experiments don’t necessarily give you the results you want. If they only did, that’s not valid science. But, results that aren’t what you want are still scientifically valid and useful. That is when further experiments are probably needed as part of the scientific method.
Ultimately, the goal is probably to have a specific practice that is effective for your purpose, but there may be more steps along the way to get there.
The question I suppose also comes down to whether one is trying to doing rote work within a settled practice that is intended to generate regular results (à la Thomas Kuhn’s normal science) or one is intending to explore the edge of one’s practice, with a greater opportunity for revolutionary shifts.
Valid spiritual paths
Georgina Rose 🔺🎄
I don't think anyone genuinely believes that "every spiritual path is valid". That statement seems very wholesome and kind, but everyone has practices and concepts that are unacceptable in their minds, whether they acknowledge it or not.
For my part, I think I could agree with the statement if it were “every person’s spiritual path is valid for them” but that would have to also be a limited time offer, subject to change, some conditions may apply, offer void in some states, do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.
The main reason is the switch from determining this for someone else to doing that each for oneself, with the former being potentially dangerous, and the latter still being subject to consequences beyond the individual.
I’d also say that people can and do have spiritual practices as part of their path that they find unacceptable, but do them anyway. So, that a practice is unacceptable to, even, oneself, don’t make that invalid if they are practicing it. I think I’m maybe coming around to the idea that the validity of a practice is the doing of it, not one’s feelings or thoughts about it; but I’m also tending toward including the thoughts and feelings about a practice as part of the practice.
So am I coming around to saying that spiritual practices that a person does is valid for them, whether its acceptable to them? But then what about coercion? Is the addition of “by their own volition” necessary and sufficient? That allows for people practicing things they don’t necessarily like or want, but do voluntarily for reasons, say, of experimentation or exploration.
Let’s try that on for size:
“Every person’s spiritual path they practice of their own volition is valid for them.”
But, here’s the rub. I’m thinking of the scientific idea of “validity” which is that the results of an experiment are correct: interiorily that they follow the method and has results, exteriorily that the experiment measures what it set out to measure and that the results provide a conclusion that is supported by the experiment. But that means that the practice, thoughts and feelings are still valid even if the practice is coerced.
Okay, then, let’s be a little more radical. Let’s make that into a more forward looking prescription, that separates the idea of validity a little more, but also includes an ideological statement about volition:
“Every person’s spiritual path is for them to practice, and should be of their own volition. Their practice is valid if it is on their path, what they meant to do, and that practice offers them results supported by their work.”
So each person determines their own path, hopefully of their own volition. And, that work is valid if it is on that path they chose, for if not they should revise their path into a new one or revise the practice to conform with the path they have chosen. Furthermore, the practice should be what they meant to do, for if it was not then they may need to work harder to do the practice the way they wanted to do it, or revise their practice to conform with a new way they are doing it. Finally, the practice should offer results supported by the work they are doing, for if there are no results or the results are not from the work, then they should revise the practice to have results or find out what generated the results and practice that instead.
Therefore, spiritual paths contain practices that provide results. When individuals engage in practices, hopefully of their own volition, on a spiritual path where results are as they intended, the whole is valid.
In a twist, by separating “validity” out like that, it might now be actually possible for others to question the validity of another individual’s spiritual path, curtailing which was part of my intention with the original revision, but, this time, crucially, I think, not without including the individual in the discussion!
Let’s go with that!
Thelemic jurisprudence
Under Thelemic jurisprudence, if someone does something, then you can do it to them. For example, if someone kills, then they are signaling that it is okay to kill them in return.
Since Crowley broke his oath and published Golden Dawn rituals …
Since Crowley included other people’s work in Rites of Eleusis, for which he didn’t have copyright permissions …
Characters on the Tree of Life
I once had this idea. You know how, like, every story and show has a group of character based on the 4 or 5 classical element model? Yeah, what if instead there were an open-source roster of characters based on the tree of life?
I imagine a website (hey, I even know a guy that could even make a section for this at the library!) with OS or CC content. Each character could be detailed, based on specific sepherot or paths, with details based on correspondences.
Then, maybe, there’d be 10 seasons. Each season would be “set” in a sepherot, related to connected paths. each season would introduce characters from the roster based on the location.
Maybe the 1st season would start with the cliché 4 classical elements as characters in Malkuth. But then things get strange!
The characters and seasons would be open for use, like pulp characters and Wold Newtonesque crossovers.
Or something.
IDEK. Maybe as a sister project to the The Cadaver Synod section offering a collection of characters and an archive of stories based on them.
G∴ Woman 23
G∴ Woman 23 reporting to the Secret Chiefs!
An awful egotist
Me: Crowley must have been an awful egotist to have published so much of his own work in Equinox &c., under his own name and pseudonyms.
Also me: Shit. Imma need to fill this zine will a whole lot of my own crap if there’s any hope of having enough to release an issue.
War on christmas
Soldiers posing with spears in front of the cross on Golgotha energy (or, for that matter, selfies in Abu Ghraib).
Look who’s “war on Christmas” is “taking Christ out of Christmas” now.
Send something for the Zine
Pitch an Idea
Things to check out at Hermetic Library
And on the blog
Caller At The Crossroads
Skin Now Breathing For The First Time
Hayiel - The Hermetic Library Blog
The People of the Black Circle
Mirror Moon Ascending
Lord of the World
Magick, Music and Ritual 16 cover artwork
Also, elsewhere
Checking a haul of sample Patron merch that arrived late, all at once, Dec 2021
Checking a haul of sample Patron merch that arrived late, all at once, Dec 2021
As you may know, this year I’m trying out some new merch rewards for Patrons. Each month as I’ve added a new design I’ve requested a sample to check for fun and quality control. You may also know, that for the last ½ year, Patreon merch hasn’t been sending my requested samples. Apparently, they took a laxative and processed all of my pending samples on Nov 22, and now they’ve arrived, months late. Welp. Okay, I guess better late than never? Let’s check these out!
I got a re-request for the UwU / Θώθ Meme sticker (which has already retired and been refreshed with a new design), plus the Pandora and the Laptop organic tote, the Unicursal IN MY MOUTH Propaganda mug (which will retire at the beginning of next month), and the Rainbow Unicursal LOVE IS THE LAW Propaganda poster.
I had given up on ever getting these, but, now that they’ve suddenly arrived, I’ve gone ahead and requested the samples for merch designs that I didn’t bother asking for since I didn’t think they’d arrive ever. Wonder how long it will take for these new requests to arrive?
Either way, these are pretty cool!
Season's greetings
Today I’m sending out some season’s greetings envelopes to all Mars+ Patrons and a couple of frequent Postal Exchange participants. So, those are something new this year. I’ve never done this before, the whole seasonal mailing thing. Not personally either. Welp.
I was going to send something to everyone for whom I had postal addresses, but … um, I ran out of cards. ::sad trombone:: If I do this again, I’ll have to better estimate how many I need!
(Doing this once doesn’t mean I have to always do it, right? Right? Oh no. I may be coming to regret my life choices.)
Did you enjoy this issue?
John Bell the Librarian
By John Bell the Librarian

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