“When I first joined Co-Masonry, I thought at first that it was going to be Freemasonry-Lite. How wrong I was.“
A (male) co-mason.
“When I first joined Co-Masonry, I thought at first that it was going to be Freemasonry-Lite. How wrong I was.“
A (male) co-mason.
Recently I have been taking time to colour the BOTA Tarot deck – which is famously left black & white for students to fill in as their appreciation of the esoteric significance of colour develops. However, instead of trying to colour in the actual cards, I thought it would be far easier for me – in terms of detail and control of colour – if I scanned them, printed them out A4 size, and then painted them. I used acrylic paints, simply because that is what I had to hand.
It soon occurred to me, would I be able to convert these pictures I was making back into tarot cards? Or in other words, create my own deck based on the BOTA cards. After doing some research I found that the answer was theoretically yes – and surprisingly easier than one might think.
But first a caveat. The BOTA deck, I am guessing, is still in copyright, so obviously one cannot create one’s own commercial deck this way. It would have to be a deck for private use only. If I have come up with 100% original designs, that would have been a different situation entirely.
However, the fact of the matter is that there are companies – on the internet, even – that if you provide them with a full set of PNG files according to their specifications, they will print them and turn them into a Tarot deck on your behalf. Usually they do this as part of a wider scheme of creating customised playing card decks generally. Apparently quite a few professional Tarot readers do have their own personalised Tarot decks printed up to impress their clients when giving readings.
Typical size for each image is 3″*5″ @ 300dpi, or 900*1500 pixels. Note that 1/8th of an inch is routinely shaved off each edge as the bleed area, leaving the printed product 2.75″ * 4.75″, which appears to be an industry standard. Clearly, a graphics program more sophisticated than MS Paint is required! I personally have an old version of Photoshop. I believe there is a freeware program called “GIMP,” although I didn’t particularly like it when I gave it a try.
The typical cost for such a deck starts from about $15 for one deck – although if you want your tarot deck to come in a box, you are going to have to pay considerably more, e.g. $26. By way of comparison, the Rider Waite is currently retailing on Amazon for $11, the Crowley Thoth for $21 and Tarot of Marseille for around $16 (all boxed). The only way you would be able to compete with these big boys if you actually went and tried to come up with a proper commercial deck and market it as such. To compete with the Rider Waite, for example, you would only begin to break even by selling out a run of at least 250 decks. However this does not take into account either costs run up in the creation of the deck, or actual profit (is there such a thing???), which if you are going to be working on a professional basis will be considerable. Harry Wendrich, creator of the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot, once told me that he simply employed local people to sit for him as models for the characters he depicted in his cards, which is an excellent strategy for a professional artist, although some of them look particularly shady.
This is a response to a blog post by Aaron Leitch about the Archangel Raphael being Frater Lux E Tenebris. IMHO the identification of Frater LET with this Archangel is far too simplistic, as it conceals much more than it reveals. The “Archangel Raphael” is itself a pseudonym: however I, Alex Sumner, the World’s greatest expert on the Occult, can now reveal even this august person’s real-name.
“Raphael” itself is a Hebrew word meaning “Healer of God.” Now to the ancient Hebrews, God lived in Heaven, and Heaven was thought to be synonymous with the Sky. Thus “Raphael” might be more accurately translated as “Heavenly Healer,” “Celestial Healer,” or even “Doctor From Outer Space.”
Yes, folks, the “Archangel Raphael” aka “Frater LET” is none other than The Doctor. As further evidence I cite the following:
Frater LET appeared to Mathers. A secret chief named Frater LET appeared to David Griffin. Clearly it is the same person, who was able to manage this feat by travelling through time!
Secondly: the Doctor is well-known to be cagey about revealing his true name. This is why he attempted to get the Book of Tobit (the only scriptural reference to “Raphael”) downgraded from the Old Testament to the Apocrypha, in the hope that people wouldn’t pay much attention to him suddenly materialising in the life of young Tobias.
So there you have it! Not only have I revealed the true identity of the Secret Chief of the Golden Dawn, I’ve also spoilt Doctor Who for millions of fans! ;)
OK I’ve been tagged by fellow author Maria Savva to take part in this blog-tour, about the main-character from one of my novels.
The character I have chosen is Miranda T Warren, from Taromancer.
Miranda is a forty-something single woman who lives alone with only her cat Nixie for company. To supplement her income from her not particularly well-paid job she works as a Tarot reader – a profession with which she is becoming increasingly disenchanted. Miranda is a strictly fictional character, although I do put a lot of my own words into her mouth.
Modern day England, mostly in Miranda’s home-town which I left unspecified but for the fact that it is relatively near London.
Miranda was raised a Christian but lost her faith roundabout the same-time her mum died, when she was a child. In her teens she turned to paganism. Now however she is at a spiritual cross-roads – seeking idealism, but not sure how or where to find it.
Her long-time frustrations about how her life has been diverging from what it ought to be come to a crisis point one fateful evening, when she finds herself staring over the edge of a bridge into the river beneath… As it happens, a crazy old man saves her from herself, and persuades her that to solve her problems she ought to go on a Spiritual Quest, which turns out to be even more radical than she ever expected.
Her quest to re-kindle her interest in the Tarot comes to represent her quest for spiritual wholeness, and closure on all the negative issues in her life.
(The Demon Detective and other stories)
A Fairy Story By Any Other Name
and Taromancer, which is a stand-alone novel in its own right. I also have written several short-stories and a novella in the “Demon Detective” series.
Full details can be found on my website: http://solascendans.com
The books themselves are all available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/alexsumner
I have several WIPs – probably later this year.
I may be taking a liberty in catching them unprepared, but nevertheless I’d like to shout out some authors I admire:
Last month I reported that K-Pez was being sued by some Christian rapper, who alleged on the flimsiest of pretences that the alleged similarity of her song “Dark Horse” to his own made him look as if he were associated with the Illuminati (see here for details).
I say “flimsiest” – now, however, K-Pez obviously likes the taste of foot – and unfortunately I don’t mean other people’s! She has apparently told Rolling Stone magazine:
“If the Illuminati exist, I would like to be invited … I see all that s**t and I’m like: ‘Come on, let me in! I want to be in the club.'”
Presumably her attorney didn’t advise her that the reason the fourth power of the Sphinx is “to keep Silent” is that it helps greatly if you’re not currently being sued!
As it happens, someone (not Katy Perry) was asking me on Facebook just the other day how to join the Illuminati. Given that she lived in America, I could hardly tell her “Come over to England and I’ll initiate you myself,” so instead I gave her this advice.
“Fill yourself with Light. That way, if you don’t join the official Illuminati, you will join the real Illuminati.”
The fact is that the term “Illuminati” has been associated with: a short-lived branch of the Rite of Strict Observance; an extreme Zionist conspiracy; an extreme left-wing conspiracy; an extreme right-wing conspiracy; or indeed any half-baked conspiracy which is logically at variance with each and every other version of the theory. However, the real meaning of “Illuminati” is simply one who has been filled with Light: whilst the term “Illuminism” is a simply an old-fashioned word for mysticism.
Hence, Katy, if you are reading this blog (as I know you surely are), my message: it’s not a coincidence that insight from mystical self-awareness is called “enlightenment!” Seek it out. :)
Here’s a thought. In Qabalistic terms, the secretest chiefiest secret chief of them all is a mysterious person who is like the “Alpha-Qabalist” (or indeed Aleph-Qabalist) who is the Baal Shem Tov of the modern era. He (?) it is who has the authority to transmit the true Unwritten Qabalah, or knowledge of the true pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. This person – let’s call him “Melchizadek” for the sake of argument – is Jewish.
Would therefore “Melchizadek” have had any truck with anyone who sided with the Nazis during the third reich? My own muddled thinking would say almost certainly not. Hence: any occultist of a Germanic origin, claiming to be a Qabalist, must be viewed with suspicion, as if anyone in their tradition was a Nazi or helped the Nazis, it is likely that Melchizadek would have withdrawn all contact from the members of that tradition.
So now we turn to the Israeli/Gaza conflict. If, as I surmise, Melchizadek is Jewish, it is also likely that he (?) is also a Zionist by sympathy. Now before I get a whole load of trolls jumping on me saying that this a logical non-sequitur, I would say: for the great majority of Jews, the pure idea of “Zionism” is perfectly reasonable to them, as it is the natural desire of their people to find a place of rest and sanctuary after centuries of upheaval.
Hence, occultists who purport to practice the Qabalah yet do not support the principles of Zionism are likely to find themselves cut-off from the source of Qabalism. A Qabalistic solution to the present crisis must involve the preservation of the integrity of the state of Israel (even if the methods currently adopted by the Israeli government are not the best means of ensuring this takes place).
This is a query that has been raised by more than one newcomer to astral projection, so I thought I would address it in a blog post. The answer is surprisingly optimistic:
As long as nothing physically happens to your body whilst you are “out,” this is guaranteed never to happen!
The fact is that there is no evidence whatsoever that getting trapped outside your physical body whilst astrally projecting has ever occurred, nor that anyone has died as a result thereof. And before you say, “well there wouldn’t be,” there isn’t any evidence of known astral projectors mysteriously dying for no apparent reason either, which is what you would expect if this phenomena occurred.
The only conceivable way that you could get trapped outside your body whilst astrally projecting, is if your physical body died in the meanwhile. And then, being trapped outside your body is the least of your problems!
So in other words, the simplest way to avoid this is the same way you would avoid dying generally – live a healthy lifestyle, and avoid doing anything unhealthy or dangerous.
The General Synod of the Church of England may have thought it was clever by changing the gender qualifications associated with Bishops, but Marvel Comics is attempting one better: by changing the gender of an actual god!
Yes! “Thor” is going to become a woman. Marvel plan to justify this by saying that “Thor” is not a name but rather the title of the person who has “the power of Thor” – which is, according to the comic book company, dependent on who is wielding the famed hammer Mjölnir at any given time, rather than who is the descendant of Odin the Allfather.
My immediate reaction to this was that it is likely to rile the Asatru community something chronic, as Marvel have failed to consider that Thor is not just a fictional character, nor a deity in a long-dead religion, but a deity in a contemporary living religion. Indeed, I have seen anecdotal evidence that many current followers of Asatru were first attracted to that particular brand of Heathenry by first reading about in the original Marvel series.
But then I started to wonder: can a female Asatruar- e.g. a Gythia (Priestess) – actually invoke a male deity such as Thor in real life? And if so, would it be normal Asatru practice to do so? I am not Asatru myself, and data on this particular question is not straightforward to find in a quick Google search, but I would hazard a guess that the answers to these two questions would be:
In any event, it seems quite clear that Marvel’s idea of imposing political correctness on Germanic Heathenry is alien to actual practice, in form if not in intention as well. I would be interested in actual Asatruars’ view on the subject.
For more details see:
Marvel changing Thor to female | In Entertainment.
Tarot Cards are bad for your health and can give you violent stomach-ache! So you’d better stop eating them! Joking aside for one moment, that would actually have been far more sensible advice than that given by US Televangelist Pat Robertson to a woman who emailed into his show.
Apparently, a woman’s son experienced violent stomach pains when she prayed to him in the name of Jesus. She then emailed Robertson for advice. Now I am no Doctor, but I am a qualified First-Aider, and can tell you for nothing that if someone came to me with stomach pains I would firstly carry out a full Secondary Survey, and then – unless a specific medical condition indicated otherwise – call 111 (NHS Direct) or 999 (for an Ambulance) (i.e. in the UK) depending on how serious the patient’s condition apppeared.
Ah! But does Robertson do any of this? Does he even suggest getting checked out by a doctor at all? Erm no. He automatically assumes that it is caused by one of the woman’s ancestors having practiced witchcraft, or used tarot cards, and then recommends getting in an exorcist who really believes in spiritual warfare to sort this whole thing out.
Let’s just rewind for one second: it was when the woman prayed to Jesus that the boy felt sick. I suppose it would have been beyond Robertson to suggest, “Well stop praying to Jesus, then?”
Robertson is well-known in the USA as a particularly rabid right-wing televangelist. I have had to cause to mention his antics before on this blog in regard to his remarks on the 2010 Haitian Earthquake. Indeed, I noted at the time:
“Pat” apparently is not actually his real-name, but a childhood nickname derived from the fact that as a baby people liked to pat him a lot.
May I suggest that in the future he might consider changing it to Punch Robertson.