Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thoughts and Events In the Midst of Winter

Here we are, in the middle of February and in the middle of winter. Spring is yet another sixty days away at least, and winter has been going on for so long that I can barely remember what it was like to have leaves on trees and growing things. So far, it has been a pretty mild winter, but there are patches of snow and ice, and nothing would seem to indicate that winter is losing its grip anytime soon. So I look outside my window and day-dream about going outside and enjoying the warmth and witnessing all of the green vegetation. I admit that often it seems we take these things for granted until the middle of winter, when we find ourselves pining for their return. That’s what life is like living in the tundra that is Minnesota in the winter.

I did want to discuss some things that are relevant to this blog other than displaying my angst about the seemingly never ending winter. There are some really wonderful things happening, and I have been very busy working at my day job as well as writing up my occult topics during the evening. Sometimes things just seem like all work and no play, so I need to plan in some playtime and some temple time as well.

By now, all three parts of my article on “New Age Cargo Cults” have been posted, and everyone has had a chance to look them over. While perusing the recent news, I have finally come to the conclusion that the Republican Party seems to be functioning more and more like a Cargo Cult. News pundits, presidential candidates and various other governing elected officials operating through the Republican party doctrine have created a view of the U.S. and the world that is almost completely mythic in its contents and perspectives. In the past, beliefs and opinions that would have been sequestered in fringe groups like the John Birch society, the KKK, Aryan Nation, the Religious Right, Libertarian Lunatics, Warmongering Neocons, Anti-Science Climate Change Deniers, Plundering Plutocrats and various other hate-groups or ultra-conservative fanatics are now fully embraced and shown as part of the mainstream conservative agenda.Very scary indeed!

Republicans have created a false sense of urgency and crisis in this country, but it’s focused laser-like on social values and protecting the entitlement of the very rich, instead of jobs and income inequality. The whole ridiculous entourage reminds me of a political circus, except that there is nothing entertaining about it. As a political moderate, I find the constant harping and unwillingness to do anything constructive both wearying and deplorable. The apparent stimulus for this obstreperous behavior seems to be nothing more than the fact that we have a black man in the White House. (Horrors to horrors!) Unfortunately, our current president has actually been functioning as a political moderate, with many of his policies inhabiting a place in the right-of-center of the political spectrum. Yet if you listen to the right-wing punditry, Obama appears to be a dangerous, foaming at the mouth, left-wing fringe, racist, liberal socialist Muslim Kenyan. I find it all so very unreal and insultingly stupid.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is still way too high and many people are financially suffering. It’s obvious to anyone that there are terrible inequalities growing between the rich and the poor, and the middle class is being effectively erased. It would seem to be the objective of the conservative right to consign the middle class to the hosts of the poor, where they will cease to interfere with the ongoing government sanctioned kleptomania by the rich. At some point, the whole things is going to collapse - and it’s only a matter of when. If you want to read a really good article about what is actually going on, you can check out this online link from the recent November Rolling Stone and look it over - you won’t like what it says one bit.

Hopefully, a more sane and realistic dialog will occur between now and November, but I am not optimistic. At least all of this political noise is having the effect of completely damaging the Republican Party brand. This is likely also a boon to President Obama, who will sail to an easy reelection victory during a fiscal downturn. Perhaps when the Republicans hit rock bottom, we can expect maybe the rise of a more sane and sensible alternative. I am against any kind of one party rule, and I think that having more than one party facilitates a proper political dialog, or at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. To quote a famous Stan Lee saying (used by many of his Marvel characters), “Nuff said.”   

Starting on February 26th, I will begin the four Portae Lucis preparation workings. On that date, I will begin the process of charging the four talismans that will be needed to perform the talismanic alternative to the traditional Portae Lucis, as set down by Jean Dubuis. I will keep my journal current and report to you, my readers, anything that is interesting or out of the ordinary. The Portae Lucis working is supposed to achieve its culmination and climax just before the Summer Solstice, now planned for June 17 through June 19 of this year. It will be interesting to see if I was able to properly interpret this working and write up a more active, magickal, alternative.

On February 8, Llewellyn Publications had a Vision meeting and accepted my manuscript for the book project, “Qabalah for Beginners.” This was a pretty happy event for me, and it means that my book project now has a scheduled series of stages to be completed so that the book will be in print by March of 2013. It typically takes Llewellyn a year to move a book project from the manuscript stage to the fully published and printed work. I have a number of fixes, changes and revisions on the original manuscript to be performed, and I will need to re-submit the revised manuscript by May 1. 

Since I have already completed most of those changes already, I only need to work on the history and creation chapters so that multiple sources will ultimately be cited for the information contained in them. I have also ordered some additional books to help me with this task, and I suspect that the final revision will be completed in the next two to three weeks, well before the deadline. The book project Launch meeting is to be held on March 5, so I am looking forward to that event as well. What will happen after the revised manuscript is received and accepted will be the final editing process, and that will probably last for a few weeks or up to a month.

Looking over the current condition of the manuscript for “Qabalah for Beginners,” I feel that it is the cleanest, best researched and organized book that I have ever written so far. And this is its current condition before the actual final editing process is started. I believe that this book will be the very best that I have been able to produce in my writing career, and it will be great addition to Llewellyn’s book catalog. I have been very pleased at how I have been treated by Llewellyn so far, and would consider writing another manuscript for them if the opportunity presents itself. They are able to motivate and extract from me a level of perfection that I have not been able to achieve completely on my own, which can only benefit those who would seek to purchase and read my new book. Anyway, I will continue to report about the progress of this project, and give you ample notice when the publication date is nigh at hand.

The annual Pantheacon convention occurred in San Jose this last weekend, and unlike the previous three years, I did not attend. I missed not being able to go, but I just couldn’t justify the cost and the time involved. This year is going to be a more lean year financially than previously, and I have had to make choices about where I spend my money. Instead of the pricey visit to San Jose and staying at the Hilton Hotel for Pantheacon, I will be putting my resources into the local convention in the Twin Cities, called Paganicon. 

Our Pagan Pride organization's second annual Paganicon will be occurring on March 16 (Friday) through March 18 (Sunday). I will be giving a double presentation starting at 9:00 am on Saturday, March 17, on the topics “Introduction to the Qabalah,” and the “Practical Qabalah.” The total time for these two presentations is 2.5 hours, so it should be pretty good as far as covering all of the substantive details for this subject. Hopefully, I will get a decent number of attendees, since the presentation time is early and my scheduled slots compete with the main speaker at least for the second half of the presentation. I will also be staying at the hotel for the two nights of the convention (at a reduced rate), so hopefully I will be able to completely absorb everything that is going on. I will write up a report about how that turns out.

Next year, I fully plan on attending both Pantheacon and Paganicon, since my book with Llewellyn will be in the pre-publishing or fully published phase. I could at least expect a gala book signing and some additional public exposure as a Llewellyn author at one or the other conventions (or maybe, both). I am also still in the planning stages for at least one or two of my book projects, so hopefully, one of them might see fruition in 2013 as well. However, at the present time, I am immersed in work and there is an enormous amount to accomplish for this year. Hopefully, I will get some of it done and I can tell you all about it.

Frater Barrabbas

1 comment:

  1. My favorite remedy for a lack of green foliage, especially in a winter like this, is to grow rhododendrons. They have a reputation for being difficult to grow, but certain varieties such as the PJM thrive in Minnesota's climate.

    Rhododendrons are cool because they're broad-leaved evergreen shrubs. When the temperature is below freezing the leaves roll up and go dormant, but if you get a warm day the leaves pop back open and you suddenly have foliage again, at least until the temperature drops. This winter mine have been open a lot since the temperature has been so mild.

    Oh, and congratulations on the new book! I'm looking forward to seeing it in print.