Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #55 (Honk without rhythm and it won’t attract the convoy)

Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #55 (Honk without rhythm and it won’t attract the convoy)
By John Bell the Librarian • Issue #118 • View online
This week I’ve got Thelema is not what you think it is and where’s the culture? Also, there’s seeing red flags, House Honkinnen, online death certificate request, and Gandalf. 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 DRUNK WITH THE DELIGHT OF LIFE Propaganda
Unicursal DRUNK WITH THE DELIGHT OF LIFE Propaganda
Thelema is not what you think it is
I suspect that whatever you or I think Thelema is is what you or I think Thelema is, not what Thelema is. For you and I, Thelema is what Thelema is for you or I when we do it. I also suspect that Thelema is not for you or I what Thelema is for others nor what Thelema is is.
Thelema is, I suspect, what it is because of what Thelemites and non-Thelemites, as a poetic merism not a binary dualism, do, not what they believe or think.
It’s not think what thou wilt (although, to be fair, you know: Liber OZ), it’s do what thou wilt.
Sometimes it seems like people think all they have to do is set an intention and do a ritual, but fail to bring what they’ve done into the world by adding concrete action to the formula. When you complete your ritual, do something in the world aligned with the intention.
But, don’t forget that the fifth power of the sphinx is “To Go”. Don’t forget to build on the foundation of elements, and actually do something.
You might go farther in and on your way the more aligned your vector is to the sum of all vectors, but maybe that isn’t for you, and how dare anyone tell you otherwise, and how dare you think your or another’s vector is ever, or should be, the same as the sum of all vectors.
Sometimes it seems like the biggest problem with Thelema is Thelema. Call your will will, not hide it behind the facade of Thelema. Obfuscating your will behind the word Thelema allows you to imagine that your will is bigger than you. Like evangelicals hiding what they do behind the term “christianity” instead of calling it “tax shelter for a racist death cult”.
Maybe your will is complex, Talmudic, Byzantine even. Or maybe it is simple, tidy and minimalistic. You do you. And mind your own business.
Another one of the biggest problems in Thelema is Thelemites minding other peoples business instead of their own. Be an ally to others doing their business, but mind your own. Any time you think your will is to tell other people what their will is or isn’t, get over yourself. Sit down, shut up, and get out. What you say about someone else’s will says more about you than it does about them.
I’d suggest that Universal Will isn’t something like an ideal Platonic object in which all Wills imperfectly partake, some uniform static ominous black space monolith, or an ever moving toward homogeneity Borg, but a sum of all vectors of all the people all doing their Will, whether that’s Crowley’s star sponge, Indra’s net, or Leibniz’s modal metaphysics. One might see the nature of that reality as the undulating relational sum of all that is happening together at once and through time. Πάντα ῥεῖ. Eppur si muove.
Imma go now, and get back to minding my own business.
Where's the culture?
A long while back, I tried to organize some classes from the Reclaiming tradition, and invited some acquaintances from Thelema to take part. Maybe I was trying to do some cross-pollination between two groups, or maybe I was just trying to get some people to join the class. I’m sure I was trying also to explore the possible.
One person from Thelemic circles had expressed interest, but also said that they didn’t want to do all the typical “class” work stuff. That seemed messed up, but it took me a little while to figure out why that felt wrong to me.
Here’s what I realized. Taking classes is only slightly about the information alone. It’s more about an experience of the practice and of the culture in a tradition. Without the “class” work, there’s neither of those. If that’s all you want, then read a book or look it up on the Internet. But, also don’t join in, but in a half-assed way, and stand aloof to the experience of the culture that’s there.
Interestingly to me, both Reclaiming and Thelema are circles where there is an intentional experiment in creating a new or different culture going on. I suspect that it is this cultural experiment that is one thing I find most interesting in both, so maybe I’m just seeing things through my own lens when I emphasize that cultural aspect.
But, it seems to me that to miss that part is to miss a large part of the point. Or, at least, miss seeing the ongoing active balancing between individual and group as worth teeter-tottering once in a while.
Seeing red flags
Experiencing the culture in a tradition isn’t always about the good parts either. There’s good reasons one might step in with a toe first, testing before leaping in and getting burned. Sometimes that’s only information that clicks in hindsight, but at least we’ve gotten it somewhere.
Very early on in my first exposure to Thelemic culture at a local body, I was helping someone create a meal in the kitchen and something went wrong with part of the meal that couldn’t be recovered from going awry. The person I was helping freaked out that they’d never be allowed to cook for the lodge again. Being sparkly and new myself, I knew I had spare social credit and could take the hit, and offered to take the blame. They said no, but they were also right. They never cooked for the lodge again.
That might well have been the first ever red flag I experienced, and the reason I recall it now in particular. There were others, of course. Also, to be clear, not everything was red flags, but they were there. And some of them were much worse. But, there were also good times? Good times, good times, ah, yep.
We’re all human. We are probably going to ignore those red flags in the moment, unless we’re really on guard. But, we’ll probably remember them later, and they will eventually help us at least begin to understand what happened. One hopes sooner than later, before something irreparable happens that we have to grow bigger than, because it never goes away.
Beelzebub, I might be
Beelzebub, I might be
MJ: Tell me the truth…I’m..I’m ready to hear it.
Peter: 0 = 2
::cries::
My egregore kisses better than your egregore
… between the sheets.
Wormtongue whispers: “I think it is important that we understand the context in which those comments were given … ”
House Honkinnen
Andrew Snowdon (he/they//him/them)
Trying to figure out the meaning behind the rhythm of the honks, when there is a rhythm to the honks
Honk without rhythm and it won’t attract the convoy.
We will vax & mask until no Honkinnen breathes Canadian air!
Online death certificate request
It was a very special use case. Most people thought it was a joke or mistake, maybe both, but it was connected to a very loud alarm in a very secret bunker.
That such an innocuous button in an entirely forgettable site design, on a painfully bland governmental website, most people never thought about twice, would turn out to be the most important honeypot in history had the same chance as a golf ball hitting one particular blade of grass.
What we could not possibly have known then, but know all too well now, is just how many of those “golf balls” there were flying towards us, and just how few blades of grass there were still left on the green.
But, it was our time. And, it was our duty to respond. For we were the Green Hat League of Ethically Hacking Tactical Permaculture Mortuary & Golfing Groundskeepers. And they were not prepared for the heavy wood what we had in our leather bags!
Gandalf
Back in the day, when I was an old-school many-hat sysadmin, one of the most annoying and consistent truisms was that the solution to a problem turned out most often simpler than I thought it would be. Knowledge is sometimes a helluva drug.
I imagine Gandalf was often just trying to avoid the overwhelming temptation to light candles with fireballs.
And that, I think, is why Gandalf seemed to be mostly useless. He was always going through all the things he could do trying to find what wouldn’t blow up everything. He was just too overpowered for almost everything, except the really, really big stuff.
This foe is beyond any of you.
This foe is beyond any of you.
To be fair, this kinda breaks down when considering the scene where Gandalf gets all uptight about being taken as “some conjurer of cheap tricks” by casting some conjurer’s cheap trick. (Let’s also not even mention the wagon of fancy trick fireworks … though, I suppose, those can’t have been cheap, tbh.)
Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks
Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks
Then again, maybe that was just the wind-up and if he’d let whatever that was go off it would have taken out all of Bag End, or worse. But, hey, at least a candle would have been, perhaps only briefly, lit!
Those hobbits at Bag End always did have a reputation.
#OccultLoveFest
scrollofthoth said, “I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate what seems to me disparate strands on the Western Esoteric Tradition into my mostly spirit based practice. These things connect. I know they connect. I just need to figure our where and how that will be useful for me.”
By the by, I’ll keep doing these weekly as long as I get at least one response. Failing that, I’ll switch to monthly or something. But, I’m planning on keeping this up in some fashion for a while, either way. I’m stubborn that way, but, you know, not obstinate. Or am I?
(I have to admit I’m a bit baffled at what’s really going on when accounts with only 100s of followers get 1,000s of interactions on these kinds of promotion threads, but with a 100,000 of followers, across my accounts, I only get a handful. But, I mean, that’s the way of most of my social media posts, tbh. Poor poor pitiful me. Apropos of nothing: thanks for being a subscriber of the newsletter! Zing!)
And, maybe, if you’d be interested, consider checking out my new #OccultLoveFest logo collection in the public merch shop and then picking something up to fly your colours of solidarity and mutual support IRL!
#OccultLoveFest (blk), Treasurehouse of Images, Sticker, Transparent 4"
#OccultLoveFest (blk), Treasurehouse of Images, Sticker, Transparent 4"
#OccultLoveFest (wht), Hadit, T-Shirt, Triblend, Kelly
#OccultLoveFest (wht), Hadit, T-Shirt, Triblend, Kelly
#OccultLoveFest, Profess House, Shower Curtain
#OccultLoveFest, Profess House, Shower Curtain
Things to check out at Hermetic Library
And on the blog
Exit Strategy
“With this word and a new Path of Return was brought into the world.”
Rogue Protocol
Dwarves of the Hell Forge
Also, elsewhere
Public merch shop update, Feb 8
Did you enjoy this issue?
John Bell the Librarian
By John Bell the Librarian

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