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Fortified Island – Journal Of The Irish Order Of Thelema #1

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The Journal of the Irish Order of Thelema Issue Theme: Omens and Augaries~The Thoth Tarot In Relation To The Work of The Order by fr, Ildanach~ Divination - A Naturalistic Approach by IAO 131~ An Invocation of Ogma by John-Paul Patton~ Summers Day by Sr. Pneuma~ News and Things Gone By~ Things Coming UpArt, Poetry and more...

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Fortified Island – Journal Of The Irish Order Of Thelema #1

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Fortified Island – Journal Of The Irish Order Of Thelema #2

SUBMISSIONS

Fortified Island is an organ of speech for The Irish Order of Thelema, featuring material from friends, community members and initiates of our Order on Thelema, the Western mystery tradition and native traditions of Ireland. As a community organ we actively seek submissions. Published twice yearly, the next issue is at the vernal equinox (21st March), and submissions should be in by the 1st March. The next issue is a themed issue. We welcome submissions on ‘Social and Political Thelema’. Submissions to: [email protected]

Cover (Compiled by S P Flanigan).……….....1 Contents………………………….…….…...2 Editorial………………..………....….……..3 The Thoth Tarot In Relation To The Work Of The Order Frater Ildanach….…………..4 Divination: A Naturalistic Approach Frater IAO131………………...………....…10 An Invocation of Ogma (from The Poets Ogam by J P Patton)………….……...……………16 Things Gone By (past events)………..….19 Things Coming Up (future events)…...…22 Summer Day (An Intuitive Reading) Soror Pneuma...………………………..…...26 Poetry....................................................................29

www.irishorderofthelema.com

Contents…

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Editorial – Occult or Social Order?

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law

This may surprise people, but when we look at ourselves we, as a collective, do not consider ourselves to be an ‘occult Order’. We are a socio-political Order which happens to also have some members who are also interested in the occult. This issue of the journal is noticeably ‘esoteric’, dealing as it does with the dubious ‘science’ of divination. Still, this work is an expression of the work of individual members. We also have members whose will is community oriented and their work involves networking, community building and setting our Community on a solid interpersonal footing. We have members who express their unique will through the creation of music, the writing of books, the raising of children and lots of other areas.

Thelema has been linked to the occult for a long time because its originator, Aleister Crowley, was an occultist. While the tools of occultism may or may not be useful to the individual Thelemite, we uphold that the law is for all. Underneath the veneer of grafted-on occultism, the law of thelema is a social and political law which has the power to transform us as individuals, and through the people we touch in our lives, also the wider world.

Thelema and its no nonsense values of ethical individualism and libertarianism, and its call for people to stand up against tyranny and superstition has a deeply resonating relevance for modern Ireland. From sectarianism to political betrayal and corruption, from large scale multinationals to all-encompassing consumer culture, the Irish people are raising their voices in dissent at what is perceived as forces of superstition, tyranny, and subjugation.

We are active and present in this resistance as ethical individuals following our own individual paths. Where these paths lead are individual. Perhaps one should ask why have an Order at all if people have their own paths (and even the world of the occult is not a single unifying factor)? Think of us like a trade union for freedom seeking individuals. Yes, of course a single worker can raise their voice in dissent against the factory, but one man is easily silenced, quenched or even squashed. A union of people represents the interests of those under its umbrella, its members, but it also represents the interests of those who might agree with their overall aims and join with them in the future. The work of the Order is in this sense political. It is also deeply social.

Groups who come together in freedom out of a mutual interest in freedom are large and complex, but within these groups there can form cells of activity, also founded in the spirit of freedom, but specializing in an expression of the intersections of several people’s paths and interests. This might be music, or seasonal celebration, or occult technologies, or art, or naturism, or a million other things. In all of this socio political diversity it is hard to imagine any cohesive force. Deeply embedded in the Order are the principles of tolerance, respect of diversity and love of community. The tolerant society built on thelemic values has the potential to encompass all of these because of the recognition of the individual as paramount, and the principle of respecting the right of others to ‘do what thou wilt’. So, in conclusion we are a socio political Order with many branches of expression, including, but not exclusive to, occult technologies.

Frater Docet Umbra 13th September 2013 e.v.

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The Thoth Tarot In Relation To The Work Of The Irish Order Of Thelema

Frater Ildanach

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

General

The Thoth Tarot is an excellent resource for any initiate of the Order, and the following

paper is intended to provide some food for thought and act as a catalyst for further research and application. Basics

The Thoth tarot can appear (with some

justification) incredibly complex, however by reducing the deck into it’s simple components it is relatively straight forward to gain a basic comprehension of the individual cards and their interaction.

Here are a few ideas which I used in my early study of the tarot;

Break the tarot into its basic elements – These are

~ The Five elements – earth, air, water, fire, spirit., probably the best, and simplest place to start, and will give you a very rough idea of the four suits, the trumps or major arcana all relate to spirit. ~ The Seven ‘Traditional Planets’ – Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Sun, Jupiter, Saturn - any half decent book on astrology will give you more than enough to go on ~ The twelve signs of the Zodiac -Back to the Astrology book again! ~ The Ten decimal Numbers – Relating to the sephiroth on the tree of Life ~ The 22 paths – based on the correspondence of the Hebrew alphabet and the paths of the tree of Life. Approaching these last two

is a whole lot simpler once you have an idea of the elements/ planets/Zodiac. Time to dig out the Book of Thoth.!

That way you end up with 56 basic

ideas, (well Nuit does call the Tarot ‘my book..’ in Liber AL!) which combine and interact throughout the tarot. They also work to shed light on each other – The basic idea of each of the elements, planets and signs of the Zodiac reappear and are expanded in the 22 paths. The planets and elements also shed light on the ten numbers of the minor arcana.

Get a very basic idea of each of these – even if it is only 3 or 4 keywords

Ie . Earth – material matters, grounding, solidity.

Mars – active male energy, Conflict, labour

Virgo – Systematic, creative, critical. The number 7 – The sphere of Venus,

masculine type of female energy, imbalanced towards mercy.

The path of the tower – The planet Mars, connects Mercury and Venus, catastrophe. Etc., etc.

How to go about this comes down to

the individual – in the past I have set myself a routine and spent a definite amount of time studying for say 2 hours

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every Sunday for a few months. This can be a good idea if you are totally ‘green’ on the whole subject, in my experience grandiose commitments to study one card every day for months on end tend to work well for the first fortnight and then fizzle out – but maybe that is just me!

Long term a more useful way is to keep your cards handy, and pick them up every time you have the chance; when you’re waiting for a film to come on telly – or have ten minutes before you have to go pick up the kids from school. Just become familiar with the cards – the titles – the colours – the ‘vibe’ or energy you get from it, see which cards you ‘like’ and which you tend to ‘avoid’ – they are most likely to be the ones you have most to learn from.

Another thing I found – very- useful was to spend some time in bed before I went to sleep, mentally picturing the cards, starting with the ten of Disks (wealth) and working the whole way through to Atu 0 – The Fool. If you hit a blank or can’t remember an image or name, just look up the card the next day.

I started off with the image and name of the card, and when I had that memorised pretty well added in some of the basic correspondence. This is one of the most useful exercises I have done in learning the cards – and ‘internalising’ them, which can come in handy on those days when you have left your cards sitting on the mantelpiece at home.

One thing that will become apparent very quickly if you do start doing this, is how the basic components perpetually interweave throughout the cards, and each new thing you learn sheds light on everything else. You will also see how the basic ideas combine and interact to create increasingly more complex and specific ideas, in the same way that an artist can take a brush, the 3 primary colours, black and white and a piece of canvas and end up with the Mona Lisa.

To put this in an Order context – the

above is a very useful step on the path of ‘know thyself’ – as well as providing you with the basis in a very useful ‘war engine’ which can be applied to the collective work of the Order. How this can be done will come in due course.

With regard to ‘know thyself’ another very useful exercise is to work out your personal Tarot cards, these are based on your birth date. The whole process is outlined in the book ‘The Way of the Secret Lover’ by Lon DuQuette and Chris Hyatt and is given in outline at the end of this Paper. Basically they are based on your birthdate.

~ You will have an elemental card – one of the Aces – based on the element of your star sign ~ An archetype card – the trump of your birth sign – ~ A personality card – one of the court cards – based on the decans of the Zodiac for your birthdate ~ 3 cards – again based on decans which give a pattern of where you have been, where you are and where you are headed

All this is not as complicated as it

sounds, and can be worked out in five or ten minutes.

These cards provide a useful tool for self-analysis and are worth familiarising yourself with. However like a lot in this business, always retain a sense of proportion, and don’t be afraid to take the whole thing with a healthy pinch of salt. Divination

Any type of divination is intended as a means of acquiring information which would otherwise be unobtainable. This should always be born in mind – it is not about being ‘told what to do’ by some

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‘supernatural forces’, it is one way of acquiring additional information which can be taken into account when choosing how to proceed.

This process comes in handy when faced with any significant choice, whether the tarot is the best tool for any particular occasion really only comes with experience, there are times where the I Ching or Ogham for example might be more useful.

In terms of work within the Order Divination can be a useful part of preparation for any ritual work.

In terms of actually doing it I usually begin with a banishing – this can be as simple as doing the Ritual of the Enterer – or might be a full set of banishings. – It really depends on how important the Question is, then I do a short invocation, usually based on that given in the Book of Thoth;

‘I invoke thee IAO That thou wilt send Heru The Great Angel set over the Operations Of this secret Art, That he may lay his hands invisibly upon these consecrated cards of Art That I may gain true knowledge of hidden things. To the Glory of thine ineffable name AUMGN’

Then it is a matter of phrasing the

Question; “Will it be auspicious for the Order if I perform ritual ‘X’ , to the end ‘y’”

Or

“What will be the likely effect for the Order of performing ritual ‘X’, to the end ‘y’

Pull a single card for each choice, and compare them, and make a written record

– then chose the course of action which seems best suited to your intent.

Another time when I would use the tarot in relation to Order Work is when considering who is best suited to a particular role in the Order, say if there are a number of candidates for advancement, or for a particular office, or even the best team for a ritual.

Obviously in this case, the divination would be one factor, but there would also be a lot of other considerations, again it boils down to having more information upon which to base your decision.

Phrasing the question is an art in itself, it is the old case of ‘be careful what you ask for – you might just get it’

The classic example is asking – “will a particular business decision be profitable?’

A suitably auspicious card is draw, and the person goes ahead. Two weeks later the deal goes up the left and cost them a small fortune. they’re left wondering what went wrong? If they had asked will it be profitable for ME to undertake such and such, they might have got a very different answer!!

Again this really comes down to experience, but be clear what you are asking for, and try to do so in as concise a way as possible. It is also important to keep a record of your divinations – and review them from time to time. It can be very easy to read into things exactly what you want to see – at the expense of what you are being shown. The passage of time and a good record can really show this up.

Such records also give you a more objective view of your skill in divination – this is important as it is very easy to remember the few times you get things spot on, and forget all the near misses. Having a realistic idea of your abilities also lets you know how much weight to give to the outcome of any divination.

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Talismen The Thoth Tarot are also a readymade

set of Talismen, and cards can be used individually – or in combination, as the basis for a talisman. At its simplest this could simply involve putting a specific card to the top of the Deck and propping it up where you can see it – maybe the magician , or Swiftness if you are involved in writing or other communication.

Wealth or Gain, or fortune if you could do with a few extra bob about the place.

Alternatively, you can go the whole hog and find all the correspondence of the card, related Angels and intelligences etc, and create a talisman based on the card, where the relevant powers are evoked and used to charge it. Basic pentagram and hexagram rituals can be used for this (Zodiac signs use the sigil of the sign combined with the Hexagram of its ruling planet)

Also a number of cards can be interwoven into a slightly more complex weapon.

This can be done quickly when you are familiar with the cards, and can also be done without the physical cards if you have ‘internalised’ them, via the exercise above

As an example, many years ago I found myself having to hitch to Manchester from Belfast, the event I was attending was important – and hitching horrifically unpredictable – so I created a simple

talisman from the cards – one symbolising where the journey began, one each for myself and the person I was travelling with, The magician for travel, swiftness, and another card for protection, with a final card symbolising where I wanted to end up, this was charged ‘internally’ visualising the cards, what they symbolised and linking them together.

In the best tradition of magical tales – we managed to secure a lift directly to Manchester before the boat had left its

moorings in Belfast, and arrived in Manchester much quicker than we could have done had we been able to catch the coach.

On the other side of things it can be vital to be precise and specific in the creation of talisman – especially when they are used to correct any perceived imbalances in one character.

One would be magician felt the need to create a Martial talisman – to help him build up the physical strength to cope with a new job as a labourer, a suitable talisman was made and worn to work on Monday morning – however a blazing row with the boss en route brought a swift end to the job – Mars is also the planet of conflict – it’s the old classic of being careful what you ask for!

All of the above can also be tied in to the idea of using the tarot as a frame work for building any form of magickal ritual, an open mind and a bit of imagination can go a long way.

Detail – The Star by Frater Ildanach (after. Frieda Harris)

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Working out your Personal Tarot Symbols Your Archetypal symbol

This is the Trump card based on your birth sign. This card relates to the force which forms the underlying foundation of your whole life. The Character card

This is more specific, and show individual tendencies, and the qualities of ones personality. The Qualities of these cards are outlined in the Book of Thoth, some of these might be obvious, others will be unfamiliar but both positive and negative aspects can be meditated on – ‘there is no such thing as weakness – only misapplied strength.’

They are drawn from the court cards, and again based on ones birthdate.

March 11th – April 10th; Queen of Wands April 11th – May 10th; Prince of Disks May 11th – June 10th; King of Swords June 11th – July 11th; Queen of Cups July 12th – Aug 11th; Prince of Wands Aug 12th – Sept 11th; King of Disks

Sept 12th – Oct 12th; Queen of Swords Oct 13th – Nov 12th; Prince of Cups Nov 13th - Dec 12th, King of Wands Dec 13th -Jan 9th; Queen of Disks Jan 10th – Feb 8th; Prince of Swords Feb 9th – March 10th; King of Cups

Your Root Symbol This is the Ace of the Element that rules your birth sign

~ Ace of Wands for the fire signs, Aries, Leo, Sagittarius ~ Ace of Cups for the Water signs; Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces ~ Ace of Swords for the Air signs; Gemini, Aquarius, Libra ~ Ace of Disks for the Earth signs; Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo

Your Personal Symbol

Each of the 36 ‘small cards’ relates to 10 degrees of the Zodiac, or a decan. Your

personal symbol is drawn from the decan of your birth date. It is said to represent the challenges of your incarnation, and to an extent your ‘karmic baggage’, it can also help you understand the qualities and nature of your own energy.

If you birthdate falls in the first or last few days of these divisions check in an ephemeris , as the date when one sign passes into the next varies slightly from year to year Aries March 21st - Mar 30th, Two of Wands – Dominion March 31st – April 10th, Three of Wands – Virtue April 11th – April 20th, Four of Wands – Completion

Taurus April 21st – April 30th, Five of Disks - Worry May 1st – May 10th, Six of Disks – Success May 11th – May 20th, Seven of Disks – Failure

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Gemini May 21st – May 31st, Eight of Swords – Interference June 1st – June 10th, Nine of Swords – Cruelty June 11th – June 20th, Ten of Swords – Ruin Cancer June 21st – July 1st, Two of Cups – Love July 2nd – July 11th, Three of Cups – Abundance July 12th – July 21st, Four of Cups – Luxury Leo July 22nd – Aug 1st, Five of Wands – Strife Aug 2nd – Aug 11th, Six of Wands – Victory Aug 12th – Aug 22nd, Seven of Wands – Valour Virgo August 23rd – Sept 1st, Eight of Disks- Prudence Sept 2nd – Sept 11th, Nine of Disks – Gain Sept 12th – Sept 22nd, Ten of Disks – Wealth Libra Sept 23rd – Oct 2nd, Two of Swords – Peace Oct 3rd – Oct 12th, Three of Swords – Sorrow Oct 13th – Oct 22nd, Four of Swords – Truce

Scorpio Oct 23rd – Nov 1st, Five of Cups – Disappointment Nov 2nd – Nov 12th, Six of Cups – Pleasure Nov 13th – Nov 22nd, Seven of Cups – Debauch Sagittarius Nov 23rd – Dec 2nd, Eight of Wands – Swiftness Dec 3rd – Dec 12th, Nine of Wands – Strength Dec 13th – Dec 21st, 10 of Wands – Oppression Capricorn Dec 22nd – Dec 30th, Two of Disks – Change Dec 31st – Jan 9th, Three of Disks – Works Jan 10th – Jan 19th, Four of Disks – Power Aquarius Jan 20th – Jan 29th, Five of Swords – Defeat Jan 30th – Feb 8th, Six of Swords - Science Feb 9th – Feb 18th, Seven of Swords – Futility Pisces Feb 19th – Feb 28th, Eight of Cups – Indolence March 1st – March 10th, nine of Cups – Happiness March 11th – March 20th, Ten of Cups – Satiety

The Cards preceding and following after your personal card represent a pattern or flow

in your life (do not use the chart above for these – just the cards themselves)

Love is the law, love under will.

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Divination: A Naturalistic Approach

Frater IAO131

aturalistic Occultism is the attempt to understand occultism without positing anything supernatural or even found outside of the mainstream social and natural sciences such as psychology and neurology. It is the attempt to cut superstitious beliefs and acts away from the practice of occultism, ceremonial

magick in particular, with a critical and pragmatic eye. In short: Naturalistic Occultism is a paradigm that approaches the occult with scientific knowledge, skeptical rigor, and a pragmatic attitude. It is a continuation and evolution of Aleister Crowley's motto for the

A∴A∴, “The Method of Science, the Aim of Religion.” In this sense, Naturalistic Occultism is essentially a form of – or just another name for – Scientific Illuminism. It holds that you need not look farther than psychology and neurology for naturalistic explanations of the various aspects of the occult.

Divination is the art of obtaining information or “advice” on something through the use of divinatory tools of some sort. The most common divinatory tools nowadays seem to be Tarot readings and I Ching oracles. Many occultists may have views about divination that involve belief in some kind of supernatural force. For example, Tarot cards may be understood to be guided by an unseen hand in order that the cards selected for the reading are absolute and infallible in their accuracy. The approach of a Naturalistic Occultist would not believe in or depend on such a proposition.

What then, is the understanding of a Naturalistic Occultist who performs divination? I would like to begin with a quotation from “The Chaldean Oracles of Zoroaster”:

“Direct not thy mind to the vast surfaces of the Earth; for the Plant of Truth grows

not upon the ground. Nor measure the motions of the Sun, collecting rules, for he is carried by the Eternal Will of the Father, and not for your sake alone. Dismiss (from your mind) the impetuous course of the Moon, for she moveth always by the power of necessity. The progression of the Stars was not generated for your sake. The wide aerial flight of birds gives no true knowledge nor the dissection of the entrails of victims; they are all mere toys, the basis of mercenary fraud: flee from these if you would enter the sacred paradise of piety, where Virtue, Wisdom and Equity are assembled.” 1

This quotation from a purportedly ancient source (Zoroaster) shows an essential

identity with the understanding of divination in Naturalistic Occultism. In the past, people used everything from geological formations, plants, celestial movements (astrology), cards (Tarot), patterns of sticks or stones which are thrown or dropped (geomancy, I Ching), the flights of birds, and even “the dissection of the entrails of victims.” All of these methods apparently allowed people in the past to divine the future, and today many are often used to divine the nature of an individual.

What we have to realize is that these divinatory methods are essentially anthropocentric (human-centered) and ego-centric (self-centered) understandings of the world around us. This is a case of believing “As above, so below” when it actually a case of “As within, so

1 Westcott, W. Wynn. (1895). The Chaldean Oracles of Zoroaster, line 144.

N

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without.” That is, we project our various beliefs and systems of understanding (within) outward into the world and onto the Tarot cards, I Ching sticks/coins, or whatever else (without).

The human mind is, if anything, good at finding patterns. A common example of this is seeing a bunny rabbit in the shape of ever-shifting clouds or seeing animal constellations in the chaotic collection of stars in the night sky. Most will acknowledge that there is not actually a bunny in the sky nor is there any kind of absolute law that demands certain stars clustered together form a specific constellation. That is, people see these patterns and figures often, but most people would never think these patterns represent some kind of revelation about the future. When the patterns are seen in a Tarot reading, an I Ching oracle, or some other divinatory method, people tend to claim there is some magical power of fortune telling at work. Why do we make a difference between seeing a bunny rabbit in the randomness of cloud formations and seeing a divinatory message in the randomness of, for example, a Tarot card spread?

To understand why we may make a difference between these things, we have to look at why would human beings see patterns in the entrails of the dead and randomly arranged sticks in the first place. In other words, what is it about our human psychology that lends itself to seeing absolutes where there are none? Here are few reasons:

1. The need to feel in control – The future is always uncertain and therefore a source

of anxiety. The belief that the future can be foreseen through divination or other means makes it seem less uncertain and satisfies the need of humans to feel in control. In fact, a recent study (2008) showed there is an intimate relationship between the need to feel in control and the likelihood of perceiving patterns or connections where they do not exist.2t There is no doubt that at least some of the engagement in divination by occultists, whether consciously or unconsciously, is based on this desire to make the uncertain a bit more certain.

2. Social proof – Occultists tend to associate with like-minded people, many of whom use divinatory techniques. We tend to believe things that everyone else believes around us,3 and beliefs are reinforced if we find that others approve, especially true when we are uncertain about the topic.4 That is, since there are many occultists who believe in the power and efficacy of divination, other occultists are more likely to believe in its power and efficacy. This is true for divination as well as all other beliefs surrounding the occult arts.

3. Rationalization trap – People often put a lot of time into learning about these methods, using them, and even guiding their lives by their interpretations. People who put a lot of effort into anything engage in “effort justification,” where they try to rationalize the large amount of time and/or money put into whatever practice is being questioned.5 This results in typical “defensiveness” whenever something they believe in is questioned or scrutinized, yet – as it is

2 Whitson, J.A. & Galinsky, A.D. (2008). “Lacking control increases illusory pattern perception.” Science, 322(5898), 115-117.

3 For the classic paper on this subject, see Sherif, M. (1935). “A study of some social factors in perception.” Archives of Psychology, 27(187).

4 Wooten, David & Reed II, Americus. (1998). “Informational influence and the ambiguity of product experience: Order effects on the weighting of evidence.” Journal of Consumer Psychology, 7(1), 79–99.

5 Pratkanis, Anthony R. (1995). “How to sell a pseudoscience.” Skeptical Inquirer, 19(4), 19-25.

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said in Liber Librae sub figura XXX – “The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and wilfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.” If we are to have Magick be both an Art and a Science, we have to be open to scrutiny of our practices, even if the conclusions end up being something that contradict our original beliefs. Doing otherwise and remaining entrenched in our beliefs even when there is evidence to the contrary is what leaves occultism in the realm of superstition rather than an occult science.

4. Tradition – There are examples of people throughout time using various techniques of divination. The ancient nature of divination is used as a justification by many for its validity,6 but many old traditions are ambiguous, superstitious, and simply wrong. We practiced human sacrifice for thousands of years – does that validate it? We practiced slavery for thousands of years – does that validate it? Tradition has held for thousands of years that the Earth was the center of the universe and that it was flat – does that validate it? Are any of these ideas valid in the least because of their ancientness? In my opinion, they are not valid simply because they are old.

Divination is an instance where the subjective and objective need to be carefully

examined and separated. It has been found that there is no observable, objective connection between the path of the stars in the sky and personality traits.7 As Zoroaster supposedly said, “The progression of the Stars was not generated for your sake.” There is no reason to believe that an I Ching reading can objectively predict the best course of action, that a Tarot reading can accurately portray your mental and emotional needs, or that the observation of the flight of birds or progression of planets can give insight or predict the future. The key understanding here is that there is no reason to believe these things are objectively true. That does not mean they may remain subjectively true in the same way that there is no way to determine if a musical piece is objectively good but can be acknowledged to be subjectively good. One reason that occultism is difficult to understand is this very distinction between objective and subjective validity: many of our practices, including divination, may be seen to have no objective accuracy or validity yet can have tremendous subjective accuracy or validity. An astral vision, for example, may have no relevance to anyone outside of oneself yet it may hold the keys to your own, individual Adepthood.

The question may then arise as to why these divinatory practices seem to “work.” From a naturalistic perspective, one way to understand why Tarot and other “psychic” or divinatory practices seem to “work” is through the idea of Barnum statements. A Barnum statement is an ambiguous and general statement that can and is taken to be personally meaningful.8 As an interesting example of this, the famous skeptic James Randi once took a classroom of students and distributed astrological horoscopes to each

6 Mentioned as a legitimization strategy in Hammer, Olav. (2001). Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age.

7 For a study on the correlation between one's sun sign and personality & intelligence, see Hartmann, P., Reuter, M. & Nyborg, H. (2006). “The relationship between date of birth and individual differences in personality and general intelligence: A large-scale study.” Personality and Individual Differences, 40, 1349-1362.

8 Dickson, D.H., & Kelly, I.W. (1985). “The 'Barnum effect' in personality assessment: A review of the literature.” Psychological Reports, 57, 367-382.

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person.9 He had the students read the horoscopes over and then rate their accuracy on a scale of 1 (not accurate) to 5 (very accurate). Almost every person rated their horoscope as a “5” for accuracy, with a few rating it “4,” but here comes the catch... Randi asked the students to pass their horoscope to the people in front of them and judge the accuracy of other people's readings. The students found that everyone had been distributed the exact same horoscope!10

Again, the reason this works is because of Barnum statements. The horoscope contained ambiguous and general statements that almost anyone could agree with, e.g. “I see myself as being mostly self-reliant.” These ambiguous statements are taken as personally meaningful to the person reading a horoscope even though they could (and do) apply to many, many people. Similarly, divinations always involve very vague and ambiguous statements. A quick read through any basic text on Tarot or I Ching divination will show this clearly to anyone. It is by virtue of these vague and ambiguous “Barnum statements” that we have the space to project our own personal meaning into the divination in the same way we project an image of a bunny rabbit into the vague and ambiguous shapes of clouds.

On this I want to be completely clear: none of this means these divinatory systems don't necessarily have subjective value. There are never any rigid, objective meanings for Tarot cards or divinations; they always require the personal, subjective interpretation and application of the symbols. This subjectivity can be embraced insofar as the interpreter understands that the meanings that arise out of the reading are largely a result of their psyche imposing order and meaning on the symbols. In other words: The innate pattern-finding drive in human organisms can be bent to the will of the magician.

Suppose a person is feeling depressed, doesn't know what to do, and so consults the I Ching for advice. The sticks form some hexagram or another and suggest an ambiguous course of action with vague, often symbolic or metaphorical language. The person consulting this divination could, using the correspondences they have learned along with their knowledge and intuition, decide that the hexagram means they should go out for a walk and engage with friends. The person molds the essentially arbitrary divination to “fit” their life and current situation. In short, a divination may suggest a course of action to help overcome indecision. It is the intention of the operator, the Will of the magician, that directs the interpretation of the “oracle,” and it is by virtue of the pattern-finding tendency in all human beings that we are able to form a relevant interpretation. The unconscious mind is a storehouse of great knowledge, wisdom, and power that is not normally accessible by the conscious intellect. Divination, then, is a tool in the arsenal of the magician to allow her to access this unconscious storehouse and to use it to accomplish her Will. This approach maintains a naturalistic perspective while also maintaining the power and utility of divination.

There are other issues for a Naturalistic Occultist when dealing with divination that should be considered. A problem with divinatory systems, especially astrology, is the pigeonholing of people into various categories. Most people think it wouldn't be very valid to judge a person based on their sex (sexism), race (racism), age (ageism), et cetera. Why would it be any more valid to judge a person based on their “Sun sign”? (“Signism,”

9 A video of this can be found by searching on YouTube. Currently, it is available at <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Dp2Zqk8vHw>.

10 Randi was reproducing an earlier study that was done with essentially the same procedure; see Forer, B.R. (1949). “The fallacy of personal validation: A classroom demonstration of gullibility.” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 44(1), 118-123. This study is why the Barnum effect is also sometimes called the “Forer effect.”

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perhaps?) I still vividly remember walking down the street with a female friend and we came upon someone at the corner of a street who had studied occultism for decades. He inquired what sign she was and, when she answered “Scorpio,” he recoiled and hissed. Although it was a playful response, it was obvious that he was judging her based on her Sun sign even when he had literally known her for about 30 seconds. This seems just as prejudicial as anything else.

People learn symbol systems and their associated characteristics like the twelve symbols of the zodiac and then pigeonhole people into categories. It's a case of “With astrology in hand, everyone looks like their sun sign.” This is because of a cognitive bias known in psychology as “confirmation bias,” which is the tendency to interpret new information as justifying and affirming preconceived beliefs. With our pattern-finding tendencies and our confirmation bias hand in hand, everyone is liable to see patterns where they don't exist and constantly fit new information into pre-conceived beliefs and categories.11 When a person who is an “Aries” acts in a robust, energetic manner we say, “he is such an Aries,” but when this person is emotional or intellectual, astrologers can explain this by saying, “but her Moon is in Cancer” or “he has an aspect (a spatial relation between celestial bodies) which predisposes her to be emotional and intellectual” or “there is a conjunction of Venus and Mercury this week that explains all of this.” In short, there are nearly infinite ways to justify people's temperaments and actions with the many variables of astrology, but this is all a case of confirmation bias... and unfortunately in too many cases, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

People may view themselves primarily as Leos and therefore devote their pursuits to what they view as “Leo-like”: being creative, friendly, boastful, etc. This can even lead to avoiding certain people because of their Sun signs (e.g. “Oh, you Scorpios – you're always trouble!”) without even knowing anything about them. But what if you viewed yourself as a Gemini or a Sagittarius for a week? You would slowly but inevitably see the things that you do which are Gemini-like or Sagittarian. Speaking symbolically, everyone is a star12 which, like the Sun, travels through all twelve zodiac signs: every person has a bit of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces in them, though some may be more outwardly emphasized than others in certain people. Also, people change slowly over time and often dramatically in response to extreme conditions, e.g. a soldier might get Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and retract themselves from the world... but does that make him now a Virgo? If the magician wishes to be free from limitations, ridding oneself of the mental limitation of pigeonholing people into an astrological scheme might be a good place to start.

Divination can be used to confirm our pre-held beliefs and perpetuate a self-fulfilling prophecy, or they can be used to challenge our beliefs. If we are open to what the “oracles” of divination may be saying, they may point us to certain thoughts or behaviors that are not resonant with our self-images, let alone our “astrological make-up.” Therefore, a perspective shift is needed where we do not interpret our results based on pre-held beliefs but, on the contrary, use them to challenge what we think “should” be.

In short, Naturalistic Occultism views divination of all sorts as objectively arbitrary but potentially meaningful and helpful in a subjective way. Allowing the psyche's natural pattern-finding ability to work on the ambiguous, symbolic “answers” of divination can allow for the individual to see new perspectives on problems or perhaps suggest a certain

11 It should be emphasized that everyone has these cognitive biases, although some are more or less aware of them.

12 “Every man and every woman is a star.” From Crowley, Aleister. Liber AL vel Legis I:3.

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course of action to the diviner's mind. What has to be remembered is that these are subjective tools. All too often, occultists fall into the trap of letting the cards (or sticks, or whatever else) guide their destiny instead of themselves. Also, occultists all-too-often take divinatory symbols to refer to objective reality and so begin to pigeonhole other people (and events and other things) into relatively arbitrary categories. If the occultist can avoid these pitfalls, divination can be a personally meaningful, interesting, and even illuminating practice. Frater IAO131 is a Thelemite and initiate of Ordo Templi Orientis. He is currently serving as Secretary of Blazing Star Oasis, Ordo Templi Orientis, and has formerly served as a Man of Earth Delegate to U.S. Grand Lodge O.T.O. Frater IAO131 is the creator and editor of the Journal of Thelemic Studies, co-creator and co-editor of the Speech in the Silence podcast, and an author of many essays on Thelema, Aleister Crowley, and Magick, most of which are available on his website http://www.iao131.com … Frater IAO131 is also the author of Naturalistic Occultism: An Introduction to Scientific Illuminism and an upcoming book called Thelema Sutras that explores Thelema through an Eastern approach.

J

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An Invocation of Ogma John-Paul Patton

0. Let the aspirant be prepared.

1. Perform Ogam Sigil.

Facing east strike the battery 3-5-3; then placing the thumb of the right hand between the index and medius make the following gestures:

(a) Make a circle about your head, saying DANU! (b) Draw the thumb vertically downward and touch the base of the spine, saying, CARNUN! (c) Retracing the line touch the centre of the breast and say, LUGH! (d) Touch the centre of the forehead, the mouth and then the larynx, saying OGMA! (e) Draw the thumb from right to left across the face at the level of the nostrils. (f) Touch the centre of the breast and the solar plexus saying DAGDA! (g) Draw the thumb from left to right across the breast at the level of the sternum. (h) Touch just above and then under the genitals saying MORRIGAN! (i) Draw the thumb from right to left at the level of the hips. (j) Clasp hands together and vibrate OGAM.

2. With the proper weapon make a widdershins Spiral of Serpentine Light: to the East saying BRIGIT! To the South saying AINE! To the West saying MEDBH! To the North saying MACHA! Then dance in a Spiral Widdershins chanting IO CARNUN!

3. In the centre with arms extended sideways say: Before me SEMIAS, behind me USCIAS, on my right hand ESRAS, on my left hand MORFESSA. Then proclaim FOR I AM THE FLAMING SPIRIT THAT UNITES THE FOUR TREASURES OF THE MIGHTY GODDESS DANU! Then repeat the Ogam Sigil.

4. I invoke thee OGMA, warrior champion of the Tuatha de Dananan, the God that cometh forth from the FAED FEED (cloak of invisibility).

5. O, thou with the strength of the universe! Thou whose music is the sound of sword on shield! Thou who charges in the chariot of victory! Thee, thee I invoke! O, thou GRIAN- AINEACH (sun-faced) master of speech and poetry, thee, thee I invoke! Thou who has created the mighty OGAMS of power, thee, thee I invoke. Thou who brought the sword of light from FINDRIAS the cloud-fair city of the East, thee, thee I invoke. Thou who cleansed ORNA of TETHRA the great sword of the abyss, thee, thee I invoke. Thou from round whose head cometh rays of light, with thy robe that shines as the gold of the sun, thee, thee I invoke. Thou whose essence is as the flaming spirit that burns in the furnace of all creation, thee, thee I invoke.

6. Behold! I am of the ancient powers that first shaped, are shaping and will shape the land of ERIN. Mine is the skill of writing and speech, that maketh manifest the Word of the Law unto women and men. I am Master of the razor sharp mind, with which I conquer with ease the limbs of my enemies. I am CERMAIT (the honey-mouthed) and

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the eloquence of my tongue chains my people by their ears; as I lead the dance of freedom with the song of ecstasy.

7. O, ye OGAM FEDHA of magick who art engraved deep in the spirit! Ye who transmit the secret wisdom of the Gnosis from generation unto generation. Ye who by sound and sign: protect, challenge, warn, charge, bless and curse; as necessity demands. Thou sacred language of the trees, whose groves sing with the music and dancing of the Holy! Magical marks of force and fire!

8. Behold! OGMA is in me and I in him! Mine is the hand that holds the knife to carve on wood and stone. I have Erin’s blood in my veins and the champion’s courage blazes therein! It is I who must transmit the signals of the tongue to the ears and hearts of women and men. I sing the song of the sun and give to seers the signs of light! I dance upon the firmament of ERIU! I raise a flashing flame with the lightening of my voice! Ever rushing on in the splendour of the daily glorified OGMA: giving my life to the dwellers of earth.

9. If I say “come from TIR NA MOE! “the ancient ones shall heed my call. For I am OGMA incarnate! TRENFHER created in the flesh! I am a vehicle of DANU, manifest in Ireland today, as a jewel from the City of the Sun.

10. OGMA commands from my mouth! His wisdom is in my heart! My tongue is the sanctuary of truth! And he sitteth upon my lips. Thee, thee I invoke! O, thou GRIAN- AINEACH (sun-faced) master of speech and poetry, thee, thee I invoke! Thou who has created the mighty OGAMS of power, thee, thee I invoke. Thou who brought the sword of light from FINDRIAS the cloud-fair city of the East, thee, thee I invoke. Thou who cleansed ORNA of TETHRA the great sword of the abyss, thee, thee I invoke. Thou from round whose head cometh rays of light, with thy robe that shines as the gold of the sun, thee, thee I invoke. Thou whose essence is as the flaming spirit that burns in the furnace of all creation, thee, thee I invoke.

11. My word is accomplished everyday! And the desire of my heart realises itself as that of GRIAN-AINEACH when he first created the OGAM! I am eternal therefore all things are as my design; therefore do all things obey my word.

12. Therefore do thou come forth from thine abode behind the FAED FEEA: with thine unutterable wisdom! All light! All power! OGMA! GRIAN- AINEACH! CERMAIT! TRENFHER! By whatever name I call thee thou art still nameless to eternity: come thou forth, I say, and aid and guard me in this work of art; that I may come to a true understanding of the OGAM, to the glory of thine ineffable name OGMA.

13. Thou star of DANU, that came to Ireland to make Beautiful Her Garden. ELATHA is thy father! Thy mother DELBAETH! The wind hath borne thee in its bosom and earth hath ever nourished the changeless Godhead of thy youth.

14. Come thou forth, I say, come thou forth! And make all spirits subject unto me: so that every spirit of the firmament and of the ether, upon the earth and under the earth, on dry land and in the water, of whirling air and of rushing fire, and every spell and scourge of OGMA the wise one may be obedient unto me.

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15. I invoke the heroic strength and splendour of TRENFHER, sounder of the great war-horn, by the rituals of speech and silence.

16. I make open the gate of TIR NA NOGE; I descend from the palace of the stars; I greet you, I embrace you, O, child of time who dwellest in the land of ERIN.

17. (A pause).

18. The speech in the silence. The words against the son of night. The voice of OGMA in the universe in the presence of the eternal. The formulas of knowledge. The wisdom of breath. The root of vibration. The shaking of the invisible. The rolling asunder of the darkness. The becoming visible of matter. The piercing of the mystery of the OGAM! The breaking forth of the light!

19. (Here follows the learning of the Ogam system)

20. There is an end of the invocation; Ogma has been invoked; yea, Ogma has been invoked.

From The Poets Ogam by John-Paul Patton

Ogma by Victoria Arundell

(from The Poets Ogam by John-Paul Patton)

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THINGS GONE BY

Though it is probably impossible to give details of everything that has happened in the last 6 months, the following are some highlights from our public work.

April 2013 ev - The Three Days Of The Writing Of The Book Of The Law Every year in early April we gather together for our main annual meeting, for the celebration of the writing of the Book of the Law, and of course, for community. This year we got to meet in our new temple space, and though unfinished at the time, it was a very positive experience to see all the progress that had happened since work began. The day involved a series of workshops, meetings, future planning processes, and work in the spirit of the three chapters of the writing of the Book of the Law. A great day was had by all, and a wonderful feed was offered by our local friendly café!

Beltaine 2013

May 2013 ev - Beltaine in Belfast with a few of the crew!

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June 2013ev - Community Space And Temple Opening

n the 24th of June we held the formal launch of the community and temple

space of the Order in Belfast. The day comprised of a talk from the National Sovereign of the Order, Frater Stoirm D’Atrach introducing the work of the Order. The day also took on the format of an Open Day, with many friends and interested people came along.

To coincide with this, we launched an introductory booklet, introducing our work and aims. This booklet is available at events, and online. We also published a calendar of events for the period until the Winter solstice, to make people aware of upcoming events.

We held a formal ritual of opening, calling on the powers and attributes of the provinces of Ireland, and on the central principles of Thelema.

At the end of the day we had an epic feast (and Lamen cake!), drank well, and got the opportunity to catch up with old friends and new. We were especially grateful to see many friends whom we have worked with over the years, and allies from other expressions of the Work. It was a truly wonderful day and we would like to thank everyone who helped make the day a success.

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July 2013ev - Talk at Bliss This year, Brian Breathnach, one of the Orders members, gave a talk at The Bliss Summer Gathering in West Cork. Bliss is a relatively newly formed organization promoting sex positive attitudes, and offering spaces for exploring the space where sexuality and spiritual encounter meet. Brian spoke to an attentive audience on the philosophical outlook of Thelema as ‘sex positive’. And spoke about the traditions and ideas of sacred sexuality in the West. In addition to Brians talk, a second Order member volunteered at the festival. Overall it was a good networking opportunity, and a great opportunity to introduce the idea of

Western traditions of sacred sexuality. For more details on Bliss, including future events, see: http://www.blissfestival.org/ 4th August 2013ev - The Lughnasadh Games On the 4th of August, members of the Order, friends and family gathered for our annual Lughnasadh Games. The Irish Order of Thelema celebrated the Lughnasadh Games in Minnowburn Park on the outskirts of Belfast. Though off to a late start, competitors went head to head in games of strength and skill including tug of war, rith fada, murder ball (its just as exciting as it sounds), and lots more as well as games of balance, memory and wit. The weather held for most of the day and a good day was had by all. And of course we crowned a victorious warrior. This year the victor was Paul Toner. Lughnasadh is also the time of the Greater Feast of our Brother, and the founding National Sovereign of our Order, Frater Wolfe. Each year, in memory of Wolfe, the warrior/ competitor who best embodies the spirit of the Games is awarded the Wolfe Memorial Cup. This year the cup was awarded to Brian Breathnach. In another part of the country, Connaught Grove also celebrated the festival of Lughnasadh with a ritual, which works with the attributes of the provinces and the principles of Thelema. This was followed by a bonfire and a beautiful feast!

August 3013ev – Some of the Crew at the Lughnasadh Games

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September 3013ev - Ritual Magic Courses Due to expressed interest the Irish Order of Thelema is running a series of workshops on ritual magick this autumn. The first of these occurred on the 14th of September, working collaboratively to come to a definition of magick, work with some ideas from the hermetic tradition and creation, build up an elemental temple, look at threefoldness, learn some foundational practices including banishing and invoking, and work with the magick of mantra and sound… The second in this series of workshops will build on the first and will take place in November… September 2013 - Autumnal Equinox On the 21st September we met to celebrate the autumnal equinox in our temple in Belfast. As well as our usual crew, we had several wonderful guests who wished to know more about our work. An introductory talk on the ritual was offered beforehand, for those who would like to know more. The rite worked with the time of the year, the tripartite energies of the aeon, and the provinces of the island of Ireland. As well as being a fitting marker of the turning of the seasons, we were also privileged to have five new community members join our ranks through the Rite of Community Membership. After the business of the day we moved on to a momentous feast and merrymaking (which lasted long after leaving the temple!) We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our new community members and to welcome them among us. Welcome to the wonderfulness!

THINGS COMING UP 5th October – Feile Draiochta

Though not an ‘Order Event’, FD is a larger community event and we traditionally attend and support Ireland’s festival of spirituality and magic. This year will be no exception. We also usually take a stall selling items made by the members, including artwork, jewelry, ritual items, books, Spiral Force CDs and more. We also disseminate information on the Order and its work. If you’re there on the day come over and say hello as we really like wee chats. For more information see: http://www.feiledraiochta.com/

26th October - The Gnostic Mass On the 26th of October the Irish Order of Thelema will mark the festival of Samhain, the festival of the ancestors with a ritual belonging to our roots in the wider Thelemic tradition. The Order, and its historical ascendants have performed have performed the Gnostic Mass over many years, and though we often use other forms more rooted in the Irish traditions, at this time of the shifting of the veils, and the remembrance of the ancestors, we remember where we have come from. Invites on request.

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16th November - Ritual Magick Workshop 2 After a very successful course in mid-September the second of the ritual magick courses will happen on the 16th November and work primarily around the cosmology of the planets, and further techniques of Western magic. 22nd – 24th November Goddess Gathering (Tulsk, Co. Roscommon) Though not an Order organized event, this will be of interest to our larger community and we would like to support it. Running from the 22nd to the 24th of November in the spiritual capital of Connaught, the venue of the small village of Tulsk is both a coming together and a getting away from it all. With several interesting speakers, readers, therapists and an evocative and ancient landscape – where better to come and encounter the Goddess? www.irishgoddess.com 30th November – Vivianne & Chris Crowley workshop On the 30th of Novemeber Chris and Vivianne Crowley will offer a workshop in our workshop space at Conway Mill in Belfast. Full details to be confirmed, and will be released on our website and social media.

Vivianne and Chris Crowley are international teachers of Wicca and ritual magick and have founded covens and groups across Europe and beyond. Vivianne is author of Wicca: A comprehensive guide to the Old Religion in the modern world (Hekserij: een moderne benadering van een oeroud fenomeen), The Natural Magician, A Woman’s Kabbalah, and Jung: Journey of Transformation. She is a psychologist and university professor. Chris was for many years President of The Pagan Federation. His books include Ancient Wisdom and Your Dark Side.

December – Cath Initiations The initial rite of our initiate membership, this rite is open to community members in good standing and represents the beginnings of a path of self-development within the symbolic framework used by the Order. For further details contact: [email protected] 21st December – Winter Solstice We will mark the day of the longest night and the shortest day with ritual and feasting. Will also have our Solstice meal and encourage as many members of the community as possible to come. January 2014ev – Coursework Day (initiates only) Workshops, talks and workings on the work of the rites of the initiate membership, the symbolism of the provinces as expressed in the community membership, and more… (members only with Rite specific work) 1st February 2014ev – Imbolg At this, the festival of the first stirrings of life in the earths belly, we meet and turn to the returning light, and the stirrings of life.

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15th February 2014ev – 1 Day Tantra Workshop On the 15th of February the Irish Order of Thelema have invited Ailish Farragher to offer a foundational workshop on the history, cosmology and key principles of tantra. A full itinerary and details will be released through our website and social media in the coming time. March – Martial Arts Seminar In March the Order is organizing a martial arts seminar to include longsword, Thai Chi and the Craobh Ruadh syllabus used in the warrior band of the Order. A full itinerary and details will be released through our website and social media in the coming time. 21st March – Spring Equinox Celebration of the equinox. 21st March – Launch of Fortified Island #3

The Irish Order of Thelema

In addition to these events the Irish Order of Thelema supports the work of Do what thou wilt! Productions, a creative media guild that has grown out of the work of

certain members of the Order.

Do what thou wilt! Productions Do what thou wilt Productions is a creative media guild built out of a group of very diverse people who work through performance art, visual art, music, event management and more to create initiatives of free art and culture. The guilds name, Do What Thou Wilt, expresses the drive towards freedom, ethical individualism, and the expression of these through creative mediums. Do what thou wilt productions has grown out of the individual work of several members of the Irish Order of Thelema, a body promoting individual freedom, but the guild works collaboratively with many artists and innovators beyond the Order to create free expressions of culture. At present the majority of the guilds activity is centered around Belfast city, where we also run a community and workshop space.

Upcoming Events include: Circus Skills Workshop (see poster) & Fundraising Art Exhibition

Find Us On Facebook: Do what thou Wilt Productions

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Adults

Only

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Summer Day Soror Pneuma

The day was glorious, bright sunshine with a soft breeze and blue skies, just right for a

walk. The weekend, so far had been great, good company, excellent discussions on all things spiritual, dancing round the bonfire until the small hours of the morning under a clear bright sea of stars.

This morning our host asked if we would like to visit the source of the river Liffey, and of course most of us jumped at the chance. We were staying in the Wicklow Mountains a few miles from Blessington, the countryside was amazing. The weekend was a chance for most of us just to catch up, rest and chill out in good company. It wasn't a course or workshop, just a group of friends gathering together to spend a few days.

The mountainside was dense with trees as we trekked to the small trickle that was the beginnings of the Liffey, there had been some flooding the week before and branches and debris lay everywhere. The small river itself sparkled, cool and clear, it tasted great. Sitting by the water it was easy to lose oneself in its flow and journey with it, as it travelled onward gathering momentum down into the valley and through the farm land then onward into Dublin itself, and finally to the sea. The energy of the water sustaining the land and animals around us, gently enfolding us into the great cycle of life.

We travelled onward arriving at a tract of land which had been in the hands of our hosts’ family for generations, good farming land well cared for, appreciated for its bounty and beauty.

The river ran through the forest here, and we began to walk through the trees that lined its bank. There was a surreal feel to the day, sunshine spilled through the trees lighting our way, birdsong filled our hearing, small creatures moved ahead of us.

I became aware of a distinct energy beside us, curious about us, an old energy which belonged to the land. As we walked it whispered through the leaves, climbing down to the riverside, I sat for a moment and studied the land. The river had eroded soil away from the roots of trees leaving small hollows filled with interesting shapes, dragonflies flitted about, as I watched tiny fish swim. The feeling of serenity and peace was beautiful, nothing intruded, except a tinkle of otherworldly laughter.

I looked around feeling eyes upon me, but knew I would not see the culprit. A sense of mischief rose with another tinkling of laughter, a taunting of ' catch me if you can'. I couldn't help but laugh myself.

Getting up and moving on I spotted some stepping stones across shallows in the river and decided to use them. I slowly stepped into the middle of the river and stopped to examine the landscape around me, drinking it all in with my senses.

Crouching down I looked at the river bed, the small stones of all colours appealing to me to reach in and touch. Selecting one I held it up, it sparkled with flecks of gold through it and as I held it still to examine it, I heard more laughter over my shoulder and it turned bright green. I turned it again to study the gold and again it was turned green by my mischievous friend. Lifting another stone out of the river he proceeded to do the same again. I couldn't help but smile widely at his antics.

I got up and continued to the other bank of the river, aware that he was before me now and openly he showed himself, puffed up almost as high as a tree, light green skin and

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laughing eyes, small horns and long hair. Greeting him politely I thanked him for the laughter. He welcomed me, blowing me a kiss, as he invited me to stay longer, laughing I again thanked him and assured him I'd be back again. I walked down the bank towards my host and another friend who were standing quietly conversing, leaving my new found friend standing back among the trees gently laughing as I made my escape.

As I approached one of them started excitedly asking me questions. Had I felt or seen anything unusual as I stood in the river. Laughing I told them of my meeting with my mischievous green friend. They were astonished explaining that while I had crouched on the stepping stone they had clearly witnessed a large green coloured man with horns standing behind me laughing. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you are not the only mad one in the company that sees and hears the spirits around us. So I share this event with you my friends, so you also will know you are not alone in your madness!

Workshop/ Community/ Meeting Space for Hire

Do what thou wilt! Productions runs an intimate community space in Conway Mill, Belfast for arts, theatre, exhibition, meetings and other events. This is a liberal artistic space that would suit a number of uses. Very favourable terms available for not for profit groups. Includes working kitchen, and several onsite amenities such as a café downstairs and convenient toilets. Conway Mill is in a very accessible location by bus and by foot.

For more details and booking contact: [email protected]

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Morrigan by Soror Pneuma

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Unknown, Unshown Sean-Paul McCann

The future, ours to find, or know for sure with powers greater than the mind,

I am infinite secure with the past, a land once frozen, this world won’t last, For there are powers that you choose to ignore, the reasons are yours,

I see and I saw and I know what’s ours to adore.

Ghosts linger on our every step, hold your tongue for there is regret, I have the cards that paint the way; you may see tomorrow and fade today,

But know that I am here, complete and forever in awe of what comes ahead and came before.

Linger, linger, long this fall, a cloud of destruction amongst us all,

I saw it coming, I warned you in time, you questioned my means, and you ridiculed my mind,

All has reason in the hands of the unknown; I don’t hide behind that which un-shown.

I will save you if you take my hand, Together we can conquer and take the land,

So call me witch, call me mage, call me what you will For I stand over all that shivers and stays eternally still.

The Working World of a Corn Stalk Cryss V.A. Foster

This my friend is a tale forlorn

Of six billion stalks of golden corn Dreaming of youth spent on the hill

All grinding slowly at the mill A life resigned for bread to make

They cannot see the flawed mistake Their undertaking bleak and dour

For it’s hard to blossom fruit from flour They grind so hard at brutal pace

In what’s become a fatal race To churn to dust and then to dough

Where next they go they’ll never know If they could only rest a bit,

Regain some sense, obtain some wit They’d surely stop and grind no more

And stop this daily deathly chore For life was better upon the hill

Yet still.... They grind on at the mill

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The Prowler Cryss V.A Foster

Beneath the star kissed heavens

A Lone wolf softly lopes Lunar forces guide his stride

Across the snowcapped slopes

Then all at once his thoughts they flood His focus firmly set

On what taste from air And nostrils flared

Reveal what must be Blood

His mind reduced to frenzy His paws pick up the pace

The eyes gleam wild and widen And his heart begins to race

Oh! To gorge until replete Upon that transitory meat

A frantic blur of fur stark white

Goes dashing wildly through the night Jowls bared, dripping and eyes aglow

Move swifter still across the snow

But alas his state of excitation A careless, reckless declaration

And nearing quarry which he sought Flees underground and can’t be caught

Towards the moon a desperate wail

Then lonely nomad turns his tail And strides off

Regret Beyond deplore

His hunger lasting evermore.

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The Poet's Ogam is a creative exploration of the Ogam, based on a 17-year study by Irish author John-Paul Patton. This book explores the historical context of Ogam and the relationship between Ogam, poetry and the Gaelic harp. It contains a range of comparative studies between Ogam and the Kabbalah, Runes, I Ching and other systems. The text also presents original creations of an Ogam calendar, a divination system, and a reconstruction of Fidchell (the ancient Irish chess game) based on Ogam. The book further includes a system of Gaelic martial arts based on an elemental Ogam framework, magical Ogam squares, Ogam pentacles and much more, that fill this tour de force of contemporary Ogam study and use. The Poet's Ogam carries on the Art and Science of the Filid-the Philosopher Poets who created and developed the Ogam and is a must for anyone with an interest in Celtic spirituality and magick. John-Paul Patton is generally recognised as a leading authority in Ireland of esoteric Ogam studies.

Available in hardback, paperback and e-book format through www.thepoetsogam.com or on amazon.co.uk

The Poet’s Ogam

A Living Magical Tradition

By John-Paul Patton

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