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Entertainment / What do you leave out of your personal library?
« on: April 09, 2019, 05:26:17 pm »
Or, how does your personal collection of resources and literature, whether that's physical or digital, differ from a hypothetical "perfectly complete" collection? And how does that reflect your interests and values?

A friend who recently perused my home library's titles got me thinking about this, by pointing out how vast a majority of my books are under 500 years old. This got me reflecting on the way that I place relatively little faith in the ability of a single translation to accurately convey the underlying insights of an archaic piece, so when I do choose to engage with something ancient (and thus necessarily of a different language), it's a major undertaking wherein I consult several translations in parallel, and I almost always prefer to engage with translations online instead of on paper.

Introductions / Idgo
« on: April 03, 2019, 05:32:15 pm »
I suppose this differs from a journal in that the creation of this thread invites others to comment or question within it, so I might as well have one.

I was brought up without formally structured religious belief, though others more fond of labeling things have termed my family "natural pagans". My childhood would have been quite ordinary had it happened 100 years beforehand -- wood heat, coal-oil and candle light, farm chores, books aplenty, and none of the insidious tick and hum of a house full of electrical appliances.

I perceive my need for religious beliefs and practices to ebb and flow, usually on a timeline measured in months to years. Its tide rises through Discordianism, through Chaos Magic/k, through Western LHP (carving a different path through the many Satanisms and Vampyrisms each time), and erodes a little of the esoteric RHP dike each time before receding.

In the mundane world, I have arranged to get paid more than I likely earn for mucking about in the guts of various computer systems. I live on some tens of acres of woods on the western side of North America.

Lounge / Who here has done National Novel Writing Month?
« on: January 17, 2019, 01:04:41 am »
I was just reading up on hypersigils and realized... I did basically that, without having a clue what I was doing, when I did NaNoWriMo.

I've "won" it, but the pile of energy and inspiration to do so came from my identification with the characters of what I was attempting to write. I've also failed it a couple times by attempting things that I thought were a good idea but fundamentally didn't care enough about, because of the lack of that close identification.

Even the branding and marketing for the project have the hypersigil-esque "it's a self change project because you're a Novel Author afterwards" spin onto them.

Science / Placebo effect getting stronger over time
« on: January 15, 2019, 09:22:12 pm »
...Or perhaps we're getting better at detecting it. It's great to watch professionals who pride themselves on being scientific discover the ways in which they've been doing magic all along. (found it linked from

Science / Physics paper on visual attention...
« on: January 08, 2019, 04:50:38 am »


Much of how people process other social agents is hidden under the surface of awareness. Here we report that people automatically and unconsciously treat other people’s eyes as if beams of force-carrying energy emanate from them, gently pushing on objects in the world. The findings show how the human brain constructs surprising, rich, and at the same time schematized models of other people’s internal processes such as visual attention.


As a part of social cognition, people automatically construct rich models of other people’s vision. Here we show that when people judge the mechanical forces acting on an object, their judgments are biased by another person gazing at the object. The bias is consistent with an implicit perception that gaze adds a gentle force, pushing on the object. The bias was present even though the participants were not explicitly aware of it and claimed that they did not believe in an extramission view of vision (a common folk view of vision in which the eyes emit an invisible energy). A similar result was not obtained on control trials when participants saw a blindfolded face turned toward the object, or a face with open eyes turned away from the object. The findings suggest that people automatically and implicitly generate a model of other people’s vision that uses the simplifying construct of beams coming out of the eyes. This implicit model of active gaze may be a hidden, yet fundamental, part of the rich process of social cognition, contributing to how we perceive visual agency. It may also help explain the extraordinary cultural persistence of the extramission myth of vision.

Science / Unfounded, but interesting, allegations about intuition
« on: December 24, 2018, 06:30:19 am »

“Intuition is defined as knowing without knowing how you know,” he explained. “That’s the wrong definition. Because by that definition, you cannot have the wrong intuition. It presupposes that we know, and there is really a prejudice in favor of intuition. We like intuitions to be right.”

According to Kahneman, a better definition — or a more precise one — would be that “intuition is thinking that you know without knowing why you do.” By this definition, the intuition could be right or it could be wrong, he added.

...there are three conditions that need to be met in order to trust one’s intuition.

The first is that there has to be some regularity in the world that someone can pick up and learn.

The second condition for accurate intuition is “a lot of practice”

And the third condition is immediate feedback.

The topic of what we can learn from the LHP organizations we dislike has been on my mind lately, and I'm curious about all your observations. This forum contains more years of occult experience than any of its participants have been alive, and I value the perspectives that our little hive-mind can come up with. So I inquire: what's a flaw that bothers you about some LHP organizations, and how have you seen others avoid or overcome that flaw? No need to name the organizations where you've seen a given flaw, nor to go out of your way to hide an organization's identity if it's super obvious.

To start with a couple of my own:
Flaw: Over-emphasis on monetization, fees, dues, etc.

How some avoid it: I notice that thinkers and leaders who put effective strategies into practice into their own lives can often balance a lucrative career with participation in an organization don't have the desperation, urgency, or unbridled greed that seems to contribute to some leaders "selling out"

Flaw: Bullying to maintain secrecy and retain members

How some avoid it: I think those two reasons for bullying have distinctly different solutions. Bullying-for-secrecy can be easily avoided by having real knowledge/teachings at the heart of the organization -- ideas that can be synthesized and comprehended through hard work, but look like nonsense without it. Bullying-for-secrecy seems often motivated by fear about one of two opposite outcomes: Either the bullies recognize that their teachings are empty and don't want their followers to find out by hearing criticisms from the more clear-thinking uninitiated, or they have persuaded themselves that their teachings are not only extremely powerful but extremely easy for laypeople to understand (usually a delusion). Maintaining a rational view of the power of one's knowledge and the work required to synthesize it can avoid both those extremes.

Bullying to prevent people from leaving, on the other hand, seems to stem from emphasis on quantity rather than quality of participants. Bullying for member retention often appears to stem not from leaders themselves, but from needy and psychologically unsound people below the leaders but above those they desperately with to keep in the group in order to feel the validation of being better than someone.

So, what are the anti-patterns you've observed in the organizations you've seen or been involved with, and how have those who do better done so?

Vampyrism / Vampyrism vs Omnivory
« on: November 05, 2018, 12:57:42 am »
The Vampyre is the consummate predator.

By adapting to a diet of more highly concentrated energy, the Vampyre gains more power to draw from in times of plenty. As with the cat, the eagle, the dolphin -- all pure carnivores hold the birthright of greater power than their prey, by making their prey do the work for them of collecting scattered energy from the world.

The Vampyres of lore and yore are set apart from the populace not from their occasional consumption of human energy, but from their lifestyle's dependence upon it. If a "predator" should see no change in their life -- no lessening of power -- if they ceased to prey on others, can they be called a successful Vampyre at all? I say they cannot.

If a rational person gleans no benefit whatsoever from an act or its consequences, how can they justify engaging in that act? Classical "selfless" acts are ultimately big-picture selfishness, after all: Philanthropes envisage the whole world they most desire to live in, and then turn every means at their disposal toward realizing that end. Martyrs maintain that their own death is more appealing than the torture of remaining in a world that disagrees with their cause. So, no reasonable individual should abide by Vampyristic principles if those actions do not produce the outcomes that they wish to see.

So the Vampyre is set apart, not solely because they know how to Feed on others, but because the exercise of that capacity is become an integral component of their lifestyle. If merely knowing how to Feed was sufficient to qualify one as a true Vampyre, every self-styled "Vampyre Hunter" would become one of their own quarry in the moment that they learned the nature of the acts that they so fear.

That Necessity lies at the heart of true Vampyrism. That Reliance -- that choice to step confidently into all the benefits of a set of needs that can only be fulfilled through regular Feeding -- sets the Vampyre apart from any other dabbler in the same knowledge and arts. The Pride of selecting a lifestyle which can only be upheld through frequent, consistent Success in Feeding shows the absolute confidence of a Vampire in their ability to attain such ends.

So, why do only a chosen few pursue Vampyrism to its full potential? With the benefits available, why wouldn't everybody who discovers it say "Yes, this is the path for me"? The answer might be called cowardice, might be called caution. It has no perfect term; perhaps the closest might be the look in the eye of the bear who, foraging for berries, spots a starving cat during a year when the area's prey population has been decimated by some disease.

Predation for nourishment that can be had no other way is a game with the highest stakes. If a Vampyre encounters circumstances where they cannot Feed when needed, whether through some change in themself or some change in their prey, what happens? In losing the benefits conferred by predation, the individual as a Vampyre ceases to exist. Even if the Body and lower Human self persist, make no mistake -- the Vampyre as the self defined by Feeding starves and dies, if ever that Feeding cease.

To some, such a death of the self may seem trivial -- "Just pick back up as a human and start again!". But to others, especially those enraptured by some Vampyric sects' descriptions of immortality, any kind of personal death is anathema, and its evasion at any cost is the highest possible calling.

The appeal of Vampyrism could be described as a matter of Temperament, then.  The question of whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks – whether the level of power available via Vampyrism is better had through it than any other way – has no universal answer, since the very nature of a “benefit” is tied so intimately to an individual’s private values and goals.

Temperaments at the extrema – the obligate carnivore Pure Vampyre; the psychic veganism of some sects on the RHP – are easy to define and quantify. Less straightforward to pin down is the vast middle ground between those absolutes. That realm of moderation may seem easy to dismiss as the sole territory of the uninitiated who mindlessly inhabit it as a default position due to knowing no other way, but banishing a belief’s potential solely for its capacity to be feigned by unworthy imitators is a sure way to miss many opportunities for power. Paths within that realm can be chosen just as carefully and consciously as those at either extreme.

I call the chosen paths of this middle ground Psychic Omnivory, to convey an adaptability and capacity to function equally well feeding upon both prey itself and that prey’s nourishment. Just as some narcissistic personalities can unwittingly and destructively meet many of the qualifications for Vampyrism, most who behave like Psychic Omnivores are simply opportunists with very little awareness of or conscious decision making about what energy they consume. And Omnivores can benefit from insight into their ways without necessarily changing them just as surely as inadvertent Vampyres can.

Where do the denizens of this forum fall, in the specturm between Omnivory and Pure Vampyrism? Ought we attempt to categorize techniques to assist those avoiding the metaphorical veggies?

Journals / Journaling prompt: "Success"
« on: October 30, 2018, 05:38:38 am »
I wonder whether offering the occasional journaling prompt might invite activity to this board by reducing individuals' uncertainty about what to say.

To test this speculation, here's a writing prompt:


Or, as an interview, for those who might prefer a more concrete format:
  • How do you define success in your workings? What traits have been held in common by the past workings you've regarded as successful?
  • What constitutes success in general for you -- what's the end toward which your work presently strives?
  • Does success depend on phenomena in the exclusively the OU or SU, or what combination thereof?
  • What, if anything, is more important than success to you?

Perhaps replies would be best suited to personal journal threads... but I doubt they'd harm anyone if they landed as replies to this post.

Artemism / Question: Sex/gender in Artemism, clarification?
« on: October 19, 2018, 10:54:49 pm »
I notice that in the materials so far, Olive's work on Artemism assumes the default gender of the reader/practitioner/Priestess as female. While it's a refreshing change from the Solar paradigm of assuming practitioners to be male by default, I'm curious as to what it means about whether male or generally masculine-affiliated individuals are permitted/welcomed/encouraged to pursue Artemism.

So, to ask the "but is this for everybody?" question that it took some solar paradigms hundreds of years to properly sort out: To what extent does the paradigm recommend or require a rejection of the masculine? Are male or masculine individuals banned, deterred, or otherwise limited in their participation in or opportunities with it?

Entertainment / LHP/Occult YouTube Channel Recommendations?
« on: October 13, 2018, 01:41:50 am »
Curious what you all find to be sources of credible information in this regard.

I'm interested in free audiobooks or podcasts as well as youtube channels -- I mainly use channels as something to occupy my mind when doing repetitive manual tasks at times when reading a book would not be feasible.

Satanism / Capra aegagrus hircus
« on: October 02, 2018, 06:15:01 pm »
Capra aegagrus hircus is the domestic goat.

The Goat, whose black instances are universally affiliated with Satanism.

The Goat, whose hooves are depicted in the shoes of the Devil.

The Goat, whose head sits on Baphomet's shoulders.

The Goat, whose legs and horns complete ancient portrayals of Pan.

The Goat, temperament is described throughout history of matching that of individuals who deviate from the RHP.

Practitioners of lunar religions go out of their way to spend time with the moon and representations thereof.

Practitioners of religions for which a living human, such as a pope or cult leader, symbolizes their highest power often find it a life-changing event to spend time in that human's company.

LHP practitioners happily co-opt many RHP symbols for their cultural and psychological power.

And yet it still feels like it sounds silly to ask: For those who've had the opportunity to keep goats as pets or livestock, do you find that their proximity, symbolism, and behavioral inspiration helps or hinders with your Work?

I can see it going either way: On the one hand, you learn the ways of the individuals you spend the most time around, so why not learn the ways of an endlessly selfish and creative creature? On the other, being outsmarted and having outdoor portions of your Lair defiled by a creature whose nature is to bend to no person's will, not even your own, might constantly erode the illusion and mythos of absolute personal power that many try to cultivate.

Or are goats just too impractical to keep in the urban circumstances inhabited by the majority of modern humans? Are Satanists so low a percentage of the population that few or none find themselves with enough space and time to get the luxury of choosing animals outside the usual Cat, Dog, Fish, or Nothing?

I must admit, I'd find a "no Satanists in a moderately large group of Satanists have goats" conclusion almost as surprising as a "no Witches in a moderately large group of Witches have cats" one, but that's my rural biases showing through.

Satanism / What terms properly insult a Satanist's character?
« on: October 01, 2018, 09:07:29 pm »
Conventional attacks against an individual's character tend to assume they are pursuing an ideal of RHP, solar "good" and point out the ways in which they deviate from it.

For instance:

* "You're selfish"
* "You're evil"
* "You're inconsiderate"
* "Your behavior resembles that of an animal famed for its willfulness"

These all get lost in translation, as it were, when applied to someone who embraces themself as a deity or believes that truth is best sought through the methods generally attributed to forces of darkness.

Insults to intelligence and heredity are universal, but what are your favorite insults to the character or personality of an insultee on the LHP? Bonus points for those which sound like compliments to the uninitiated or RHP practitioners :)

I find myself presently in a category of situation that I have hitherto mostly avoided: I participate, presently as a lower-ranking member due to having joined relatively recently, in a volunteer non-occult organization with the usual array of dysfunctions endemic to such groups. The oddity of the situation is that the benefits that I attain from continuing to participate outweigh the benefits of stepping away from it. The particular benefits include access to tools and locations that non-members are denied, and these things are sufficiently large and expensive that it is not worth my while to obtain my own copies nor to relocate far enough to try a different instance of a similar volunteer group.

For a sense of scale, my main complaints about these leaders' behavior involve their failure to communicate complete information, in circumstances where proceeding with the incomplete (but allegedly sufficient) information causes followers to make mistakes which could only have been prevented using the knowledge the leaders withheld. The leaders would excuse this oversight as having been "too busy" to communicate fully if pressed about it, yet I see no attempts from them to delegate any parts of the tasks which consumed the time they might otherwise have dedicated to an adequate explanation. I have exhausted all available avenues for addressing this problem through self-change (short of leaving the group entirely or attempting to take it over, neither of which meets my needs at this point), so now I resort to considering the prospect of attempting to change others.

I generally stay out of attempting to control others' behavior, but this situation is such that I'd be willing to gently nudge leadership toward acting less incompetently (or at least toward communicating better!). I'm consoled somewhat by the fact that the desired effects should be attainable with ordinary tact and psychology -- no "magic" required.

I appreciate that a worst-case scenario of meddling here would involve my having to take on all of the problem individuals' responsibilities, and while that obviously isn't my goal, it's a risk I find it worth taking in order to improve the quality of my involvement with the group.

I ask here because within the volunteer group, I appear to be alone in considering the chronically poor communication an intolerable state of affairs. Non-occultists in the group appear happy to blame their own flaws for problems caused by leadership's poor communication -- "well I should have known better" - and to tolerate the repetition of communication problems as an inevitable fact of participation. I appear to be unusual in my insistence on changing whatever personal flaws contribute to failure, and thus reaching the conclusion that some issues encountered within the group appear intractable through change by only one participant. However, this forum is full of individuals who I expect may share my high standards for personal performance/treatment/improvement/interaction-with-the-outside-world, and who thus seem likely to have addressed similar challenges to this one in the past.

My question to you, lovely forum denizens, is: Have you used your powers to tweak your direct leaders' behavioral habits? What habits have you found easiest to change in them; are some traits especially difficult to alter? And what such changes brought forth the greatest improvements to your ability to act autonomously where their oversights may have hindered you before?

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