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Fafnir

Following straight on from my last post

Kether, in the TOLPIAS system, is the “north pole of the ecliptic” as opposed to the celestial north pole. The co-ordinates for Kether can thus be worked out precisely as 18h 00 Right Ascension, +66º 30′ Declination.

This can be shown on a star map here. Focus on the exact centre of the screen as you zoom in and out. It turns out – as expected – to be right in the middle of the constellation Draco. Below is a rather unhelpful NASA photograph of the same co-ordinates:

Kether

It’s the dot in the centre.

The nearest star to those co-ordinates is 42 Draconis, otherwise known as Fafnir, named after the dwarf who turned into a dragon. Curiously it has a planet, 42 Draconis B, supposedly named “Orbitar,” for no particularly good reason, other than some astronomical society submitted it as the winning entry in a naming competition.

It seems like the occult community missed a trick here, by not getting its act together!

One curious fact about Fafnir is that it may be Kether to us, but it is the (Northern) Pole Star for the Planet Venus.

Incidentally, if you are wondering, “Malkuth” in the TOLPIAS system would be at 6h RA, -66º 30′ Dec, which is closest to the star Eta-1 Doradus in the constellation Dorado, the Swordfish (or Dolphin) – also the (Southern) Pole Star for Venus.

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 30,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Usborne Guide to the Supernatural World

Aah childhood memories… This fuelled my interest in the occult, even before I got involved in Dungeons & Dragons! It was the Mysterious Powers book that first told me that such a thing as astral projection existed. Looking back it’s remarkable how “adult” these children’s book actually were.

HORRORPEDIA

usb

The Usborne Guide to the Supernatural World was first published in 1979 and comprised of three smaller, separately published books by Usborne, all under the ‘Supernatural Guides’ banner; Haunted Houses, Ghosts and SpectresMysterious Powers and Strange Forces; Vampires, Werewolves and Demons. They were written and edited by Eric Maple, Lynn Myring and Eliot Humberstone.

usbback

The books were ostensibly aimed at the younger market but were packed full of odd facts and stories from around the world, many of which certainly play to a wider audience. The books began with an overview of the subjects they covered and then proceeded to travel not only through time but also around the world, demonstrating the beliefs and superstitions of different cultures throughout the ages.

Whilst the books on ghosts and mysterious powers were very interesting and packed with information on the likes of hauntings at Borley Rectory (‘the most haunted house in…

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Alex Leaves Facebook

Over the past few days events have made me consider, where does my first loyalty lie: the Temple of which I am a member; or Facebook? Considered in this light, the answer is obvious: Facebook loses.

I shall therefore be withdrawing from Facebook: the only thing left of me there will be my author page which will exist to promote my publications.

I deeply regret cutting off contact with over 800 friends and well-wishers in this way, but I can still be reached via my own website.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 44,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 16 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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“Visionary Fiction” Now Officially on Wikipedia

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visionary_fiction

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Meet My New Director of Communications!

Marie Onette, new Director of Communications for Alex Sumner

Marie Onette, new Director of Communications for Alex Sumner

Exciting developments over here at Castle Sumner! Please give a warm welcome to my Director of Communications, Miss Marie Onette!

Marie, hard at work

Marie, hard at work

Due to the large amount of fan-mail I get everyday, I’ve been having trouble keeping on top of it – but no more! Thanks to a large bung from an offshore slush-fund somewhere in the Mediterranean, I can now afford to hire a publicist. So Marie will assist me by occasionally contributing material to this blog and answering questions on my relations to the Secret Chiefs of the Golden Dawn, what I think about people who purport to practice Satanism, and the relevancy of the Cthulhu Mythos to contemporary feminist thought.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates!

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The Facebook Page Like Scandal: You Have Been Lied To!

A non-occult related post – addressed to other members of the Indie Author Community who use Facebook Pages.


I am the manager of a Facebook Page – a page to promote myself as an author (see here). I come into contact with other indie authors who are in the same position as me – who also have their own Facebook pages. Recently, I have seen a lot of concern within the community that the average reach of each post on our FB pages – as a % of the total number of Page Likes – has noticeably decreased since this time last year, or before.

This has led to a lot of people in the community wanting to complain to Facebook itself, as if it is FB’s fault. Whilst technically FB could do something about it if they tried to, we are in fact missing the point. What I believe is the true situation is that we find ourselves in this position due to our own past actions.

FACT: in about August 2012, a movement began on Facebook of creating “Like Pages for Like” groups – i.e. post a link to any page which you managed in the group, expecting its members to Like it, on the understanding that you would return the favour. What a good idea, we all thought at the time. I hold my hands up myself to this – I did not realise what the implications would be, so I participated in it myself at the time. I saw the Like counter on my own page rocket up, and I thought “whoo!” – and so did many others.


However, when I was watching the above video, (what I now believe to be) the truth dawned on me, viz:

When you add 1000 Likes (or any number for that matter) who have no intention of engaging with your Page, you are actually Decreasing your Page’s popularity rather than Increasing it.

It works like this. When you post anything to your page, Facebook with all its evil machinations will only bother to make sure it’s seen by a ridiculously small number of people, determined arbitrarily. However, if that small number of people actively engage with the post by liking it, commenting on it, and / or sharing it, the post’s reach grows. If on the other hand that small number of people immediately ignore it, that post’s reach atrophies and dies.

Hence, if the vast majority of people who supposedly “Like” your page don’t actually read your posts, you will inevitably see your reach shrivel and die. This has led me to propose the following radical solution to the Facebook Page Like Scandal. It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but stay with me for the moment. It is this:

INSTEAD OF ATTEMPTING TO MAXIMISE YOUR NUMBER OF PAGE LIKES, YOU SHOULD IN FACT DO THE OPPOSITE: DECREASE THEM – TO THE MINIMUM WHERE YOUR PAGE BECOMES AN EFFECTIVE MARKETING TOOL.

Yes! This is why I say in the title to this blog post “You Have Been Lied To,” because there are self-appointed marketing Gurus who try to sell people the idea that maximising Page Likes is the be-all-and-end-all. Wrong. You should only try to maximise the number of genuine fans for your page – people who are willing to engage with it. All the rest are worse than useless, they are negative influences in your pages popularity.

Take two Facebook pages, one with 100 likes, and the other with 1000 likes. Unfortunately, however, 900 of the second page’s fans are not particularly interested, whilst all of the former have a past-record of engaging with the page’s posts. Each page has effectively the same number of real fans, but in the former case there is a 100% chance that the page’s post will have a higher than usual reach, whilst in the latter there is a 90% chance that it will have a lower than usual reach. A page which limits itself only to genuine fans is a more effective marketing tool than a page with a larger number of redundant Likes.

Hence, here are my Dos and Don’ts:

DO:

  • As an author, encourage actual customers to like your Page – by including the Page address within the book. If they have already paid to read you, they are more likely to invest their time and effort into your fan page.
  • Encourage people who have engaged with you in the past to Like your page.
  • Limit invites to like your page to those in the field of interest relevant to your book.
  • Controversial one here – go into your page’s settings and  block it from being seen in known Link-Farm countries. See the Video above. You ought to know which countries your books actually sell in – authors with KDP will find that Amazon actually tells you. If, therefore, you have a suspiciously large number of “Likes” in places like Papua New Guinea or the Philippines, but don’t recall ever having sold a book there, you know what to do. FYI, the countries named and shamed in the video above are Egypt, India, Nepal. Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines. There may be others, so be vigilant.
  • Get rid of suppose Fans whom you acquired through artificial Liking-schemes in the past. This is tricky because it may mean having to go into the Likes list of your page – several times – to de-select them one by one. The alternative is to
  • Be prepared to bite the bullet and start again with a new Page – but done properly this time.
  • Only post content that people are likely to engage with – i.e. in the form of sharing, commenting and liking. My current best reach, purely organic, for a post is 25% of the Page’s total likes, mainly because it was shared a lot and got a lot of people talking. One can’t really complain about a low organic reach if an given update is not actually that interesting.

DO NOT:

  • Use “Link Farm” sites (see the video featured above), which “illegitimately” increase your Page Likes in return for money.
  • Pay Facebook to advertise for more likes – because, as the video above implies, Facebook are effectively using Link Farms as well!
  • Participate in “Like Page For Like” groups or events.
  • Like a page unless you actively intend to engage with the posts on it.

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What if this life is just one big lucid dream?

Inception meme

The difference between Lucid Dreaming and real life explained.

This sort of remark comes up on Twitter regularly – so I thought I’d enlist the cast of Inception to help explain it.

There is a quick way to discover whether this life really is a lucid dream or not. If it is, you can change it to what you want, using the power of your mind. In order to do this with ease one would normally need to do a lot of practice training one’s mind (e.g. through self-hypnosis) whilst awake. Thus the successful lucid dreamer can give him or herself unlimited super-powers, through an act of Will.

It gets complicated however when one considers that it is possible to use the power of the mind to alter ones waking circumstances as well. Most obviously through plain old hard work, but also through the law of attraction, and through the practice of Magick.

Hence real life is in fact a type of Lucid Dream after all – just not as immediate!

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April 17, 2014 · 7:48 pm

SpirituAll 2014

The Tattershall Castle

The Tattershall Castle, the venue for SpirtuAll 2014

No matter what tradition you practice, you will not want to miss the 2014 SpirituAll Spring gathering of traditions – the world’s first day long gathering of potential customers *Ahem* “practitioners” from the length and breadth of the British Isles.

In about the year 1990, novelist and world’s greatest expert on the occult ALEX SUMNER began going out to the pub … legally. In 2014 he has decided to invite fellow occultists to come out drinking with him on Saturday 5th April, at the Tattershall Castle, on the banks of the River Thames, from 12pm onwards (nearest tube: Embankment). Spiritual seekers come from all across the world, although realistically they will only do so if they happen to be in London, England that weekend.

YOU too are invited – no matter what sort of Spirituality you practice. Hey, if you’re willing to buy one of Alex’ books, he’s not proud!!!

Adjacent to the Tattershall Castle are London’s West End and all of the capital’s famous landmarks, so theoretically you don’t have to stay all day drinking at the venue, but could make a day out of it.

The venue is a fully fledged pub and restaurant. Instead of a sky-clad hot-tub, it’s right on the River Thames itself! You can go skinny-dipping if you want, I’m sure the river police will only be too happy to turn a blind-eye.

Here is the present gathering schedule:

  • Alex gets a round in – just before people actually start arriving for the event!
  • Lunch
  • Alex tries to sell people his books.
  • Depending on how much money he has got from the previous item, Alex might get a round in properly this time.
  • Gossiping about everything that is wrong with the current occult scene, freemasonry, fluffy-bunny neo-pagans, Nick Farrell, etc.
  • Alex does Tarot readings.
  • Depending on how much money he makes from the Tarot readings, Alex may get another round in.
  • Alex will demonstrate a fearsome Enochian ritual for opening a Hell-mouth in the middle of the bar.
  • Alex will be escorted from the venue by the security staff and handed over to the Police.
  • Alex will cunningly slip the Police the old funny hand-shake.
  • Alex will be escorted back into the venue by the rozzers, just in time to get yet another round in.
  • etc etc etc

See you there!!! 🙂

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