Omnium Gatherum: 21mar2021

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for March 21, 2021

Happy Equinox, Thelemic New Year, &c.! It is now the docosade of Atu V The Hierophant and ATU VII The Chariot!

Hermetic calendar Mar 20 2021 annus V vii Thelemic New Year

Also, I’ll post about this separately in short order, but the sample for the first Patron reward mug, the first in the series I mentioned previously, arrived! I posted about that over on Instagram when it arrived, and I’ve got a short unboxing video that I need to upload and post; then I’ll make a post on Patreon specifically about it all. But, here’s a peek!

Unboxing sample Fill Me Kill Me patron merch mug

Here’s a variety of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:

  • Eaux d’artifice (1953) by Kenneth Anger at Library of Congress—”A poetic fantasy that follows a mysterious masked woman clothed in 18th-century dress as she walks along the paths in the Villa d’Este gardens among the fountains in the moonlight, finally becoming one with the water. Music from Vivaldi’s Four seasons is played in the background.”
  • From the Iblis dept: “Refusal to Kneel.”—”I will never bow my knees at the knees of any man, and no man’s foot will I kiss.”
  • Liber Sigillum: Of the Lords Who Wander by Gary St. M. Nottingham, introduction by Benjamin Turale—”An essential practical guide to the art of talismanic magick, Liber Sigillum expertly guides you through the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to incorporate the creation and empowerment of planetary, elemental and angelic talismans into your work. A talisman can act as a battery of power for the magician, emanating will and intent across planes of existence as well as the everyday world. Just as fascinating for the curious newcomer as the experienced practitioner, this critical but often overlooked aspect of the Western Magickal Corpus is made accessible to all. Author Gary St. Michael Nottingham translates his many years of valuable practical experience into clear and straightforward practical exercises and examples. Drawing on the age-old wisdom of the Corpus Hermeticum, grimoires, Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy and the Picatrix, this exceptional work not only teaches methods for the physical creation of talismans, the importance of the celestial conditions and how to call upon both angelic and demonic powers as necessary, but also the crucial nature of personal emotional engagement and focus. The author’s experience shines through the original development of techniques he shares in this volume in print for the first time. Whether you are just starting on a ritual magic path or are a seasoned practitioner of witchcraft and the occult yourself, Liber Sigillum is bound to become a treasured and oft-consulted companion.”
  • Being & Non-Being in Occult Experience. Volume 1: The Book of the Law (Liber AL vel Legis) by Ian C Edwards, due midsummer 2021—”n Volume I, the author, in his participatory epistemological encounter with Liber AL vel Legis, writes the Abyss into manifestation by transforming speech acts into magickal acts; moving from Idea to Form and from Form to Idea in a circular, bidirectional fashion. Herein lies a “key” to understanding the Cosmos’ own emergence from and disappearance into the Abyss; the becoming of Somethingness from No-thingness; the One from the None; the Logos in an eternal dialogue with the Void. Only the heretic, the seer, the sorcerer can hold this “key”. This is a path not for the many but for the few, as this heresy is structural and methodological; a negation of all systems that are anti-organic; systems that highlight static notions of being and non-being at the expense of becoming. The Book of the Law embodies its soul into the reader, incarnating itself with each spoken or unspoken utterance, transforming itself in the act of reading, so that subject and object are inverted, displacing self and other through an engagement with radical alterity. The Book of the Law affirms an absence that erases the “who” or “what” we understand to be the subject in favor of an otherness that becomes the subject’s own most possibility for becoming; the dialectic between non-being and being as the place of presence. The author shows how The Book of the Law is a Book of Love, a Book that tells a story; a unique mythology which describes the intimate relationship between Being and Non-Being through the use of signifiers that present and represent a myriad of archetypal images and universal notions; all the while inviting its readers to embrace the totality of the Law itself. The Law is for All because Love is All and the All is Love.”
  • There Is Nothing So Whole as a Broken Heart Mending the World as Jewish Anarchists [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] edited by Cindy Milstein—”Through stories at once poetic and poignant, There Is Nothing So Whole as a Broken Heart offers a powerful elixir for all who rebel against systemic violence and injustice. The contemporary renewal of Jewish anarchism draws on a history of suffering, ranging from enslavement and displacement to white nationalism and genocide. Yet it also pulls from ancestral resistance, strength, imagination, and humor—all qualities, and wisdom, sorely needed today. These essays, many written from feminist and queer perspectives, journey into past and contemporary trauma in ways that are humanizing and healing. They build bridges from bittersweet grief to rebellion and joy. And via concrete illustrations of how Jewish anarchists lovingly transform their own ritual, cultural, and political practices, they clearly illuminate the path toward mending ourselves and the world.”
  • The Haunted Imagination of Alfred Hitchcock. How the master of suspense got his sadistic streak.” About The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Edward White, due April 2021—”A fresh, innovative biography of the twentieth century’s most iconic filmmaker.” “In The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock, Edward White explores the Hitchcock phenomenon—what defines it, how it was invented, what it reveals about the man at its core, and how its legacy continues to shape our cultural world.”
  • What’s a Novel Good For?” About The Novel and the New Ethics [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Dorothy J Hale—”In The Novel and the New Ethics, literary critic Dorothy J. Hale investigates how the contemporary emphasis on literature’s social relevance sparks a new ethical description of the novel’s social value that is in fact rooted in the modernist notion of narrative form. This “new” ethics of the contemporary moment has its origin in the “new” idea of novelistic form that Henry James inaugurated and which was consolidated through the modernist narrative experiments and was developed over the course of the twentieth century. In Hale’s reading, the art of the novel becomes defined with increasing explicitness as an aesthetics of alterity made visible as a formalist ethics. In fact, it is this commitment to otherness as a narrative act which has conferred on the genre an artistic intensity and richness that extends to the novel’s every word.”
  • Deconstructing Jackie. How the French-Algerian philosopher Jacques Derrida became one of the most influential thinkers in the world.” About An Event, Perhaps: A Biography of Jacques Derrida [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Peter Salmon—”Philosopher, film star, father of “post truth”–the real story of Jacques Derrida.” “Who is Jacques Derrida? For some, he is the originator of a relativist philosophy responsible for the contemporary crisis of truth. For the far right, he is one of the architects of Cultural Marxism. To his academic critics, he reduced French philosophy to “little more than an object of ridicule.” For his fans, he is an intellectual rock star who ranged across literature, politics, and linguistics. In An Event, Perhaps, Peter Salmon presents this misunderstood and misappropriated figure as a deeply humane and urgent thinker for our times.”
  • Our Strange Addiction. The transformation of tobacco and cannabis into early modern global obsessions.” By Benjamin Breen, author of The Age of Intoxication: Origins of the Global Drug Trade [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher]—”Featuring numerous illuminating anecdotes and a cast of characters that includes merchants, slaves, shamans, prophets, inquisitors, and alchemists, The Age of Intoxication rethinks a history of drugs and the early drug trade that has too often been framed as opposites—between medicinal and recreational, legal and illegal, good and evil. Breen argues that, in order to guide drug policy toward a fairer and more informed course, we first need to understand who and what set the global drug trade in motion.”
  • A Gallery of Know-It-Alls. Those strange creatures called polymaths.” By Peter Burke author of The Polymath: A Cultural History from Leonardo da Vinci to Susan Sontag [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher], paperback due August, 2021—””
  • Beware of Books! A new moralism is gripping the literary world, treating grownups like children.”
  • Solving a cosmic (ray) mystery.”—”Conventional wisdom holds that high-energy cosmic rays crashing into Earth’s atmosphere at the speed of light, triggering showers of cascading particles, are generated in powerful supernova blasts. Not so fast, researchers say.”
  • Black Holes May Not Be Black. Or Even Holes. Their true nature could finally explain the origins of dark matter and fast radio bursts.”
  • See a dust devil whirl by the Mars Perseverance rover.” Also tweet—”Spotted a dust devil. You can see it in the distance behind my robotic arm in this enhanced/processed view. The dust devil is moving right to left and creating whirlwinds of dust in its path.”
  • Ancient bronze figurine of bull uncovered in southern Greece.”
  • Ancient Native Americans were among the world’s first coppersmiths.”
  • From last year: “What if Some Mental Disorders Aren’t Actually Disorders at All? A new paper by anthropologists argues that disorders are responses to adversity.”
  • Brain rewires itself after injury ‘on the edge of what’s compatible with life’. Stroke suffered as newborn went undetected for 13 years.”
  • Rare Ancient Tool Found in Australia May Have Been Made With Kangaroo Bone. The rare find is helping archaeologists piece together Indigenous technologies used thousands of years ago.”
  • It took over a decade and 1,000 hours of photography to create this picture of the Milky Way.”
  • Three-node quantum network makes its debut.”—”Scientists at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have taken an important step towards a quantum Internet by connecting three qubits (nodes) in two different labs into a quantum network. Such quantum networks could be used for secure communication, for safer means of identification or even distributed quantum computing.”
  • Gigantic Stone ‘Tiger Stripes’ Etched Across Ethiopia Pose an Ancient Mystery.”
  • Meandering rivers create ‘counter-point bars’ no matter underlying geology.”—”It’s not uncommon for crescent-shaped swaths of sand to dot the shorelines of meandering rivers. These swaths usually appear along the inner side of a river bend, where the bank wraps around the sandy patch, forming deposits known as a ‘point bars.'”
  • Missing baryons found in far-out reaches of galactic halos.”—”Researchers have channeled the universe’s earliest light—a relic of the universe’s formation known as the cosmic microwave background (CMB)—to solve a missing-matter mystery and learn new things about galaxy formation. Their work could also help us to better understand dark energy and test Einstein’s theory of general relativity by providing new details about the rate at which galaxies are moving toward us or away from us.”
  • Images of ‘cosmic web’ reveal maze of dwarf galaxies.”—”Peering into the early Universe some 12 billion years ago, scientists in France have for the first time seen the incandescent filaments of hydrogen gas known as the ‘cosmic web,’ they said Thursday. Cosmological models have long predicted its existence, but until now the cosmic web had never been directly observed and captured in images.”
  • How Industrial Fishing Creates More CO2 Emissions Than Air Travel.”—”According to calculations conducted by the report’s 26 authors, bottom trawling is responsible for one gigaton of carbon emissions a year—a higher annual total than (pre-pandemic) aviation emissions.” “Bottom trawling is also one of the least cost effective methods of fishing.”
  • From the Homunculus dept: “Scientists Create Living Entities In The Lab That Closely Resemble Human Embryos.”
  • From the Tears in the Rain dept: “Scientists grow human tear glands in a lab and actually make them cry. Dutch researchers have an ambitious vision for their organoid.”
  • No cigar: Interstellar object is cookie-shaped planet shard.” Also “ASU scientists determine origin of strange interstellar object.”—”Two Arizona State University astrophysicists, Steven Desch and Alan Jackson of the School of Earth and Space Exploration, set out to explain the odd features of ‘Oumuamua and have determined that it is likely a piece of a Pluto-like planet from another solar system.”
  • The ancient fabric that no one knows how to make. Nearly 200 years ago, Dhaka muslin was the most valuable fabric on the planet. Then it was lost altogether. How did this happen? And can we bring it back?”
  • From ringfort to ring road: The destruction of Ireland’s fairy forts. Some of these ancient mounds date back to 3000 BC, but many are buried under motorways.”
  • 3 Ways the Pandemic Has Made the World Better. COVID-19 has inflicted devastating losses. It has also delivered certain blessings.”
  • NFT Mania Is Here, and So Are the Scammers. Artists are seeing their work showing up in NFTs they did not mint themselves.”
  • Tweet thread—”Out of curiosity I dug into how NFT’s actually reference the media you’re ‘buying’ and my eyebrows are now orbiting the moon.”
  • My Mother Risked It All on the Beanie Baby Boom. She was a Mormon homemaker who just wanted to take part in the market economy. Then it all came crashing down.”
  • AI Can Now Debate with Humans and Sometimes Convince Them, Too.” Also “An autonomous debating system.”
  • Distraction, not partisanship, drives sharing of misinformation. But getting people to pay attention to news quality doesn’t seem to help much.”
  • Evangelical ‘Prophet’ Claims Military Carrying Out Coup to Reinstate Trump as President.
  • Scott Galloway on recasting American individualism and institutions. America’s conceptions of freedom and government have become distorted. To revitalise the country, they need to be revised.”
  • Satanic Temple Tells 9th Circuit that City Discriminated by Canceling ‘Legislative Prayer’ Before Council Meetings. Protracted litigation between a self-professed “minority religion” known as The Satanic Temple and the City of Scottsdale, Ariz., reached oral arguments before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday.”
  • Belgian bishop lashes out at Vatican over gay unions decree. A Belgian bishop has lashed out at the Vatican over its decree that the Catholic Church won’t bless same-sex unions.”
  • Enormous treasure trove of queer SF nightlife photos coming online. Shutterslut is uploading a selection of his 25,000 prints from ’90-’00s clubs to Instagram.”
  • 22 pioneering women in photography you need to know about. Discover 22 of the most innovative and prolific female photographers and how they’ve shaped the artform.”
  • ‘Let the Right One In’ Pilot With Demián Bichir Ordered at Showtime.”
  • ‘Man Who Fell to Earth’ Series Shifts to Showtime From Paramount Plus.”
  • Why can’t Britain handle the truth about Winston Churchill? Nothing, it seems, can be allowed to tarnish the national myth – as I found when hosting a Cambridge debate about his murkier side.”—”You may enthuse endlessly about Winston Churchill ‘single-handedly’ defeating Hitler. But mention his views on race or his colonial policies, and you’ll be instantly drowned in ferocious and orchestrated vitriol.”
  • There are no white knights.”—”What I do want to talk about is that while the idea of chivalry and knights on horses coming to the rescue of damsels in distress is made up, actually the comparison of knights to police is not actually so far off. That is not, however, a good thing.”
  • Celebrating the Paris Commune of 1871.” Also “What Karl Marx learned from the Paris Commune.”
  • How to End a Conversation Without Making Up an Excuse. A certain notion of politeness requires pretending the ideal interaction would go on forever. That’s ridiculous.”
  • Watch “Why the Calendar Makes No Sense.”—”In this clip from Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish, Dave explains why the calendar makes no sense at all and airs his views on astrology.”
  • His Majesty the Worm—”Tarot cards are used as a randomizing element. Combat encounters are handled with an action-packed subsystem that ensures that all players have interesting choices every minute of combat: no downtime!”
  • Omphalos: Tarot-based City Creation for TTRPGs.”—”This supplement helps you create an evocative sword-and-sorcery cityscape for tabletop role-playing games using Tarot cards. Randomly create new settlements to populate your campaign setting or build a massive city-state for your players to explore.”
  • ‘Stunning’ Scottish island up for auction at with bids starting at $111,000.”
  • If You Look at Your Phone While Walking, You’re an Agent of Chaos.”
  • Goddess Sekhmet at Textile Art Sculptures. “Handmade stuffed and jointed doll, with moveable arms and legs, needle felted with merino wool. Shift in red silk material – note pictures make the silk look pinker than it is. Colour is more of a deep claret. Ankh, Uraeus and sun disc made from clay and painted metallic gold. Papyrus head of sceptre made from felt, shaft from ash with brass point. Necklace made from real ancient Egyptian beads (circa 700 BC) and seed beads. Real, naturally shed, domestic cat whiskers. Stand incorporated.” 22 inches/56cm tall.

This post was possible because of support from generous ongoing Patrons and Members of the newsletter. Both Patrons and Members get access to Omnium Gatherum immediately and directly via web and email. On the blog, this will be exclusive to Patrons for one year, after which I’ll make it publicly available to everyone so they can see what they’ve been missing.