Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #50 (Hey, babe. Wanna come up to my place and see my Supreme Secret currency mining rig?)

Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #50 (Hey, babe. Wanna come up to my place and see my Supreme Secret currency mining rig?)
By John Bell the Librarian • Issue #108 • View online
Welcome to the first newsletter of 2022! It’s not quite a full year of newsletters yet (that will be at the beginning of February), but it’s a milestone!
So, happy new year! This week I’ve also got The Invisibles, the CDC has recommended, perihelion, chaos magick, crypto is over, you’ll never be a 9th degree, hierarchy, and this is a test. Along with merch, memes, updates, quotes, reviews, and more!
And, as always, I worked on various other things on website, blog, and more … Enjoy!

The Invisibles
I, for one, do not approve of this live action remake of Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles nor the casting choices they’ve made for King Mob and Lord Fanny.
Happy New Year!
“No, that packaging of time is a journalistic convenience … I defy that.”
“Time is an enormous, long river, and I am standing in it.”
Bridges
Bridges
The CDC has recommended
The CDC has recommended becoming a supporter of Hermetic Library. It’s good for your health and will grow hair on your chest. Mixed bag, but the health part would be good, right?
This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Supporting Hermetic Library is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Also, may not result in hair growth.
Do not taunt happy fun ball.
Perihelion
Perihelion, when Earth nearest to Sun, occurred on January 4 at 06:52 UTC in 2022.
I’ve got the barebones Perihelion page in Hermeneuticon, to which I added this new image. This is an attempt to place this moment in the overall continuing cycle. After all, whilst there is a distinct and observable celestial phenomenon, it’s part of an ongoing historical flow.
For a little while now, I’ve basically thought of Perihelion as my New Year marker. It’s an actual event that happens near enough to the observed calendar event to be good enough for me. I mean, most holidays are about as close to actual events as these two.
The word of the law is θέλημα.
The word of the law is θέλημα.
Chaos magick
NYT started practicing chaos magick, apparently
Just how hard was NYT partying for NYE in NYC this year?!
I mean, they seem more the types that would go for perennial traditionalist conservative methods and would be afraid to be found near anything that reeked of Greenwich Village, but good on them! Hope it cracks ‘em open a bit for the better, all in all!
I tease, I tease. As bad as NYT is, it could be worse. They could be The Economist. Or, heading another direction, The Daily Mail. ::shudder::
::cringe::
::cringe::
Crypto is over
Chuck Wendig
Crypto is over. This is the year of Hypno-Currency. Pay for your groceries with a pocketwatch pendulum and a whirling spiral. https://t.co/eBALJRBNlz
Crypto is over. This is the year of Supreme Secret currency. Pay for your groceries with public performances of Liber XV, The Gnostic Mass, or privately with more explicitly performed sex magick.
(Yep. No longer just some people, but now everyone must pay for groceries with sex work. It’s the law. Don’t blame me! Blame Crowley and the dudes that started OTO.)
“Hey, babe. Wanna come up to my place and see my Supreme Secret currency mining rig?”
My new currency mining rig is a sex swing.
(Alternatively: Crypto is over. Goetic entity Bune giveth riches unto a Man, and make him Wise and Eloquent.)
This Supreme Secret crypto could be an esoteric cookbook. Oh, wait, it already is.
The Twilight Zone (Classic): To Serve Man - It's A Cook Book!
The Twilight Zone (Classic): To Serve Man - It's A Cook Book!
You'll never be a 9th degree
I’ve got some bad news and tough love for you about OTO. You’ll never be a 9th degree. Most people don’t make it out of the MOE, let alone into the Lover’s triad. Moreover, vanishingly small numbers of people will ever make it into the Hermit degrees. If you think you’re going to make it that far, even as far as to make it out of MOE, you’re almost certainly fooling yourself.
Just take a look at the number of initiations and membership numbers for each degree in OTO’s annual non-profit reporting for the stark reality that almost no one, anywhere, has been or will ever be members of OTO, let alone the drastic drop off of people after even just Minerval.
(More people have visited Hermetic Library online in the time it took for me to compose the previous paragraph than are current members of OTO. Zing!)
If you’ve joined OTO to learn degree secrets, just look them up on the Internet and save everyone, including yourself, a lot of time and effort.
And, let’s also be honest, if by some miracle you do make it to 9th degree, and you don’t already know what the Supreme Secret is by that point, then you should probably be expelled for being too dumb and too incurious to have figured it out already, and thus disqualified from continued membership or initiations as an unsuitable candidate.
Here’s another point to consider: one of the documents that those in A∴A∴ are supposed to read is a degree secret in OTO, therefore, given that example, it’s the system, not the document that really determines what’s a secret or not at what point in the process.
That kinda begs the question: if not for the secrets, what is a reason to join OTO? Well, there’s very little in OTO that you can’t get more and better elsewhere, but there are a couple, very specific, things OTO offers that you can’t really get elsewhere, or by reading material on the Internet. One is the experience of a collective attempt to create an intentional community organized around Thelemic culture. The second is the imprint vulnerability inherent in the participatory experience of unspoilered initiation rituals which OTO can offer.
For the first, I mean, if you want that, go for it. I’d recommend it only in small doses and heavily recommend that you stay grounded in other communities along the way, to give you a lifeline and a way to check yourself. I mean, in the sense that revolutionaries make poor administrators, a widespread overtly Thelemic governance, I think be awful; and if Thelemites were actually in charge of important things in the world, based on what I’ve seen, we’d eventually be living in a post-apocalypse Libertarian utopia, and that’s no good for anyone except zombies and, for only so long as supplies and ammo lasts, survivalists. Just. No. Thanks, but no. I’ve met some great people in and through Thelema, but I wouldn’t trust most of them to edit a page on the site unsupervised, let alone run a government doing anything of consequence. But, OTO does offer a way to experience what Thelemic culture might be and to consider if it is for you.
As to Thelemic culture, I submit that the overall Enlightenment struggle neither starts nor ends with the movement of Aleister Crowley’s Thelema. It’s an ongoing struggle, to be sure, but it’s got way more history both in breadth and length, through time and concurrently at any point in time, than just Thelema. I mean, as long as Thelemites are working in solidarity and intersectionally with others, welcome to the club! But, when they aren’t? They’re stuck fighting limited, parochial Edwardian battles for freedoms Crowley wished for himself during his lifetime that the world has, mostly, already grown past, just not evenly distributed.
(Seriously, what 70s rock star didn’t do without guilt more wild shit and faster than Aleister Crowley ever did? And a shit ton more people still listen to 70s musicians than read Crowley.)
For the second, as I’ve said before, you can, literally, only ever experience an initiation once without spoilers. If you read ahead, you’ve missed your one and only chance, which you cannot ever get back. That should be an extremely compelling reason to give it a go without looking things up on the Internet ahead of time.
::cries::
::cries::
Hierarchy
Any hierarchical organization has some serious tendency toward dysfunction to address. This would especially be true of organizations with highly authoritarian models of leadership, such as those designed to be monarchy and aristocracy at the top.
I’ve talked about the danger of antagonists. Maybe too much. Or, not enough? But, that’s one example of a dysfunction in hierarchy.
Another of the dysfunctional features of hierarchy is restricted information flow to those making decisions. This was one thing demonstrated in the work on groupthink, where leaders in positional of rarified hierarchy are fed confirmation bias information that fits an existing worldview, not information that accurately reflects empirical observation. This means that those higher up in the hierarchy tend to have worse information available to them than those below them.
Let’s also consider the core dysfunction of hierarchical organization suggested by the Peter principle. People rise to levels past their competency, and fester at a dysfunctional plateau or else find or be shown the exit, creating churn. Hierarchical organizations tend toward increasing collective incompetence by promoting people into uselessness.
And, there’s one more distinction within hierarchical organizations, one that I’ve directly heard some upper degree members of OTO talk about, and that is they have smaller and smaller social circles, since they are doing more and more that they can’t talk about with other people not of an equivalent degree or higher. They become too busy with the increased effort and time required by an endless unpaid internship to maintain social connections outside that decreasing circle.
If you’re going to be involved in a highly structured hierarchical organization, I’d strongly recommend considering these points, and look for their red flags. Try to keep hold of your own voice as long as possible, in spite of pressure to conform, and use it. Stay grounded in some other outside social connections. Find allies, and beware and wary when there aren’t any. Look into ways to defuse groupthink and other hierarchical dysfunctions.
And, good luck to you, and all the ships at sea.
This is a test
I spent some time this week working with tech support at Buffer to try to resolve an issue I’ve been having.
There’s a little six grey dot glyph at the end of lines in that screenshot. Over on Instagram, I’ve been finding these added to posts that I schedule or send through Buffer for a while, and finally got around to letting them know.
(Buffer is a tool I use to create a scheduled queue of social media posts, and to help me cross-post to the various Hermetic Library accounts in the moment.)
You may not necessarily “see” these if you look at my posts over there, depending on if your browser and OS replace it with a visble glyph or an empty space, but they are there! This “⠀” is added to my posts, and it turns out to be the Unicode for Braille’s blank space. I’m not typing it, but it gets added to posts sent to IG through Buffer, and only posts to IG through Buffer?! Yeah, totally strange.
Not yet resolved, but I’ve sufficiently documented the issue with Buffer for now. Interesting bug! Annoying, of course, but interesting!
Merch
Sneak peek at January’s new O Coffee Mug merch design for Patrons!
This is a new design that I created just for the mugs, in the style of the propaganda posters, inspired by Aleister Crowley’s coffee invocation from John St John. Which just had to be done, amirite?
Here’s a little bit of trivia about this one. The brown colour background is one I only use for the coffee propaganda and I created it by manipulating an actual picture of ground coffee beans specifically for this purpose. Perhaps less obvious in this one, but perhaps more obvious in the versions I’ve posted on the blog previously as quotes, but it’s more of a colour texture than the simple colours I use for the other propaganda and quote backgrounds.
Yeah, this definitely is a fun one! I’ve been looking forward to it, especially because of how perfect it is for mug merch.
Of course, currently, the only way to get one would be as a Patron on my Patreon, as it is one of my merch items there for supporters at some tiers. But, if you’re willing and able, consider heading over to join in to start accumulating toward your three month milestone when they’ll ship to you, but better get in there before the design retires!
Things to check out at Hermetic Library
And on the blog
The Three Impostors and Other Stories
Klaws of the Panther
The Hindu Art of Love
Also, elsewhere
Did you enjoy this issue?
John Bell the Librarian
By John Bell the Librarian

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