Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #54 (Spectacles, Tentacles, WTAF, Watch)

Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #54 (Spectacles, Tentacles, WTAF, Watch)
By John Bell the Librarian • Issue #116 • View online
This week I’ve got some comments about the first full year of the newsletter. Also observed and astronomical Imbolc, rewilding, knights, groundhog, merch, real, and WTAF. Along with this week’s #OccultLoveFest, propaganda, memes, updates, quotes, reviews, and more!
And, as always, I worked on various other things on website, blog, and more … Enjoy!

Unicursal WINTER SPRING Propaganda
Unicursal WINTER SPRING Propaganda
First full year
I started the email newsletter back at the beginning of Feb ‘21, so we’ve now gone around the sun. It’s been a full year! This newsletter is the first newsletter of the second year.
This wasn’t my first attempt at doing a newsletter. I had set one up over at TinyLetter back in '17, but I only sent out two messages there. There were a bunch of reasons it didn’t work out, and they all boiled down to the fact that it just wasn’t working for me. So, I had put that on permanent hiatus, and this morning I also finally deleted it.
When Twitter bought Revue and introduced their email newsletter service, I decided to give it another try. So, I exported the existing subscriber list from the old list and set things up. I sent the first (new) newsletter on Feb 3, 2021: Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #1 (Hey, what does this button do?). And started to mention it everywhere.
At the end of May '21, I also moved my Omnium Gatherum from Patreon posts to the email newsletter for those with the Membership upgrade. I had been posting OG to Patreon for Patrons for a while, but wasn’t quite ever happy with it not being something that people could separately opt-in to receive. By having OG opt-in allows people more flexibility on managing their own messages, so, for example, they could follow along on Patreon without getting swamped by extra OG posts, if they don’t want them. And, by having it on blog and as an upgrade for the newsletter, that gives people options.
Along the way, I’ve also switched up the day I send the newsletter out, added and removed recurring bits, and other various things I’ve wiggled around, as I’ve figured out what this thing would be, and to make sure it fit in with what I was doing in a way that I could keep doing it too.
So, I’ve talked about what my goals were for the list before, but basically, reflecting on this last year, my hope has at core been that I’m able to reach more people who want to hear from me than I can using social media. In order to do that, I hoped for a number of subscribers equal to just 1% of my social media following, and to maintain good metrics. Or, you know, at least better metrics than social media; which is a pretty low bar, tbh.
So, where are things now, a year later? We didn’t reach that 1% number … yet. However, we did triple the number of subscribers over the initial import from the old list. Churn has been pretty low, but, honestly, so has growth. But, growth has been steady natheless, so no reason not to celebrate!
Looking at some other common newsletter metrics: average open rate is 1/3 of total subscribers. Hey, not only is that around where I thought it would be, but that’s also, no joke, orders of magnitude better than I get on any social media platform! Another common metric for newsletters is average click rate, which is the number of people who open the newsletter that also click on a link. It’s currently around 15%, which is lower than the 20% I’d hoped, but it’s still fine, all in all.
That’s okay! I want to reach people that want to be reached, after all. That means actually reaching people, which is increasingly impossible on social media, and that people actually want to get this stuff, which I hope is true, but completely understand if it isn’t what someone is looking for. If someone only ever wants to go directly to the website, good on them! If someone only ever wants to get the newsletter, and doesn’t check out the website, well, that’s okay too. Of course, I do hope that people would want all of the things, but not everyone will, of course. Again, that’s okay!
Ultimately, the big and most important win here is that after a year the newsletter is still going! I’m here. You’re here. We made it! Huzzah for us!
If you have thoughts about your experience as a subscriber of the newsletter, or even overall as a guest of Hermetic Library on list, blog, website, or soever, and want to share that with me, I’d be glad to hear that! How’s the newsletter been for you?
But, either way, thank you for being a subscriber of this newsletter! Thanks for following along with what I’m up to with the work of the library and all the other stuff I put in these!
Here’s to another year! 🍾🥂🎉
Imbolc, observed and astronomical
This week saw both observed and astronomical Imbolc, circa February 3, on ☉ in 15° ♒️ (Sol in 15° Aquarius), a cross quarter day, at 20:37 UTC on Feb 3 in 2022, in the Northern Hemisphere.
#OccultLoveFest
𐬯𐬀𐬟𐬁 mentioned, “I’m advising a new translation of Tabula Smaragdina through examining its history from Arabic to Latin texts. As a practitioner I’m honing the Opening of the Key Tarot spread. As a creative, I’m working on a performative translation of Farsi Poetry via Queer Theory.” I’d talked with them before, and at some point they may share some of that work with the library so I can present it for you all.
Magnus Malleus said, “I’m researching some modifications to my Grandad’s panacea formula. It burned up at my last attempt making it. I’m on a promising path. But I’ll wait till Spring to try it again so we can have the alchemy lab door wide open.” Ventilation is good for a lab. No need to Heliogabalus or Jack Parsons yourself … or freeze!
My egregore can beat up your egregore
My egregore can beat up your egregore
Rewilding
Open Ocean Exploration
Y’all I saw eyes in the forest on my walk tonight and got kind of scared until I used my flashlight and now I’m DYING https://t.co/QukVUJ8ciX
Y'all didn’t take me seriously when I said not to release your pet rocks into the wild. They grow bigger that you think and contribute to the poor quality of our once pristine wild rock n’ roll! All these people with quarantine pet rocks, now getting rid of them, smdh
Knights
uel aramchek
death rides a pale horse
the knight of cups rides a pail horse
the knight of wands pegs a hale broomstick
the knight of diamonds started with only an anal lump of coal
2 knights of pentacles, 1 pentacle
1 knight of hearts, 2 ventricles
Big knight of swords energy
the knight of spades digs a shallow grave, alas, poor yorick, I knew him, horatio
Groundhog
After spending lockdown working on his issues, the groundhog has come to terms with its shadow and doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about anymore.
Merch
New month, new merch! I’ve updated design on the poster design for Patron merch this morning. Here it is!
This is the Unicursal DO WHAT THOU WILT Propaganda from Ministry of Information. This is the third in the first series of four designs, which I have planned on doing.
Also, over on the public merch shop, I’ve added the Berniemit(tens) / Baphomet meme design on a bunch of stuff (including apparel, home decor, and accessories)!
Berniemit(tens) / Baphomet
Berniemit(tens) / Baphomet
This design was originally a meme I created for Hermetic Library on social media, inspired by the iconic picture of Bernie Sanders and a funny hermetic drift / colocation with the iconic image of Baphomet from Éliphas Lévi.
Then I also made this available as the very first sticker for last year’s experiment offering exclusive Patron merch. And, since a year went by, it was time to revive the design for the new public merch shop.
I actually went back and worked more on my original, so the image I have on stuff for the public merch shop is actually much improved from what I made for the original post last year back on January 23rd.
But, really, how can you not want this on *checks notes* a shower curtain?
Real
Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué
any sentence in English, ANY sentence, could be followed by "this is what Lacan calls the Real" and it would make sense. watch: This morning, I toasted a bagel. This is what Lacan calls the Real
Aye! listen to the numbers & the words: 4 6 3 8 A B K 2 4 A L G M O R 3 Y X 24 89 R P S T O V A L. What meaneth this, o prophet? Thou knowest not; nor shalt thou know ever. There cometh one to follow thee: he shall expound it. This is what Lacan calls the Real. (ii 75, probably)
The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel. This is what Lacan calls the Real. (William Gibson, probably)
WTAF
Spectacles, Tentacles, WTAF, Watch
Nipples
Nipples
Frog and Toad Are Thelemites
Frog and Toad Are Thelemites
Unicursal WAKEN AND DO WHAT YOU WILL Propaganda
Unicursal WAKEN AND DO WHAT YOU WILL Propaganda
Things to check out at Hermetic Library
And on the blog
January 2021
Neveryóna
Artificial Condition
Also, elsewhere
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John Bell the Librarian
By John Bell the Librarian

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