One might be forgiven for at least crossing fingers
Howdy everyone! Here’s a public summary of my activity this week ending February 24, 2023!
This week I did a bunch of work on entries for Hermeneuticon, adding new stuff and new kinds of stuff. I also had to figure out and fix some display issues caused by Google on the site, which led to a whole can of worms across site and blog both.
Plus the usual weekly stuff like almanac, propaganda, calendar, zine, updates, quotes, reviews, and more!
And, as always, I worked on various other things on website, blog, and more … Enjoy!
Thank you for visiting and being a guest of Hermetic Library. You help me be of service and make the work of the library meaningful. Especial thanks to each and every Patron and Subscriber for making the work of the library possible!
I created an entry in Hermeneuticon for “Magick Power“, and it is filled with quotes from primary material where the phrase occurs, especially when it is given title case in the source text. This is something new. Doing this for words and phrases that are given emphasis in the primary texts has been something I’ve wanted to do, as part of the overall metadata and cross indexing effort, but never got around to doing. There’s lots of them! And usually there’s good reason to study them and consider why they are being called to attention with title case.
I really went back and forth on whether this should be an entry in Hermeneuticon proper, or if colocated words in primary materials should be recorded in Concordance. I settled, for now, on Hermeneuticon. My thinking right now is that Concordance is for locating words in the primary materials, but for phrases and words which are being described more fully that would be something that goes in Hermeneuticon itself.
Of course, I haven’t been able to even touch Concordance for ages, but I still have it in mind!
Google and Comicad
I noticed this week that some of the automatically placed Google ads on the site and blog were causing issues, so I ended up revisiting those. I ended up having to turn off some features in order to fix it. This is a bummer, because that means less ads are displayed, but it’s also great, because less ads are displayed.
Unfortunately for me, Google ads have been an ever decreasing source of revenue to help keep the site going, and I’ve had to increase the frequency of ad placements just to try to keep up that revenue. Its gotten to the point, however, where I’ve seen a 50% drop compared to the same month the previous year, where I can’t reasonably increase placements anymore, and the revenue drop has outpaced that anyway.
Having ads on the site was always an unfortunate and tough decision that had to be made. In order to continue working on the site, I simply need to have revenue to allow me to focus on that work and for the library cats and I to still eat and have shelter whilst doing it. Part of the rationale in my mind was that most of the people that come from search engines would help keep the site going, while hoping that people who consistently use the site would consider becoming ongoing supporters at even just a buck a month in the tip jar for guilt-free ad blocking. It’s been a bummer, but needs must. However, with the revenue from those ads tanking over time, there’s not much point in pretending that I need all the placements anymore. So, I’ve reduced them whilst fixing the error they were causing.
If you’ve been around the site long enough you may remember that I used to also have an ad placement using a scrappy indie ad network called Project Wonderful. I like those because, even though I didn’t really make any money from them, they offered a neat way to have an ad space that provided smaller and niche ads to run. Project Wonderful called it quits in 2018, and I never really found a replacement; leaving only Google ads on the site.
Comicad has been a more specifically comic and art focused network that has tried to pick up the torch, or one of them, anyway. Previously, I used them to run a comic/art space on my now defunct geek/nerd blog, as an act of solidarity with small creators. However, the network was overly focused on just a comic/art/game niche, and didn’t offer the overt Blog/Books genre I fit into on PW. However, with the changes to Google ads on the site, I decided to look around again and came to the decision to try Comicad anyway.
It’s not a source of revenue, and I don’t really think it will become one, by any stretch; but it is a way for me to express solidarity with indie creators and pay it forward a tiny bit. One might be forgiven for at least crossing fingers that the recent awareness of how bad monolithic social media services are will help return enough interest in independent and open web sites to make such things more viable again; but it’s still really unlikely.
With that, as of this week, you’ll notice that there’s less and differently displayed Google ads on site and blog, and there’s one new Comicad placement on each for funsies.
It’s all just shifting sands on which I’m trying to keep steady, of course; I’ve never had the full funding I would need for all this to be truly sustainable, and I continue to dedicate way more time and effort on this than my ongoing funding levels really should allow, but I’ll keep going as long as I am able with help from ads placements and ongoing support from Patrons, Subscribers, and Members.
Of course, I’m feel incredibly lucky for and grateful to those generous few who help keep the site and my work on it going!
Crowley quotes and Omnium Gatherum
You’ll also notice that over the last week or so, I’ve really ramped up how many posts I make to the blog. As part of the migration away from the unfortunately doomed by circumstances Mastodon instance, I’ve been thinking about how to best engage again on the old, big social media sites. What I’m trying to do, and the whole purpose of ever having been on them at all, was to try to encourage people to follow the links to the site and blog for more.
So, I’m posting way more, and everything is a title and link pointer to actual Hermetic Library stuff, whether on site or blog; where there’s more to be found for those willing to take the trip to the open web.
As part of that, I’m posting more on the blog. Generally, every other day, I’ve alternated between quotes from various materials at the library itself and highlights from things I’ve read. And between those quotes I’ve posted book reviews (primarily from T Polyphilus but also other things like Bkwyrm’s review, JWMT, or soever) with links to those books and things, which aren’t at the library site itself, but are the usual mix of where to find them at affiliate shops, the publisher, and local libraries when possible. However, I’ve also been posting a lot more individual Omnium Gatherum finds, to which I also add relevant links to the content at the library that is subject matter relevant. In addition to all that, I’ve recently started posting an additional daily quote specifically from the Aleister Crowley material as an experiment.
All these posts to the blog, many of which link to the library site itself in various ways, are then queued up to be sent out at scheduled times throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr. Currently, I have a small limit on how many things I can queue up, so I have to keep filling it back up. Right now, my limit is 10 items for each account, and I’ve got 5 posting times in each, so it’s never more than 2 days of posts that I have set up. Eventually, I may decide to upgrade to more space in the queue so I can have more posts set up, but it’s what I’ve got for now. I plan to make do with how this is working and see.
I still wish I’d found both new people in the ‘verse and people who had been following on big social joining me in jumping ship. It seemed like an obviously good idea and an important and ethical imperative to do, but, even after a year trying, it just wasn’t happening.
Over the last week or so, I’ve seen about double the traffic to the blog compared to previous weeks. So, honestly, as shitty as it feels to be back on big social, being there and posting the way I have been appears to have been to some good effect after all.
Here’s upcoming calendar and astronomical events, plus the daily Thelemic Tephilah practice, which is still in its interregnum period, for the coming week, February 24–March 3.
Follow Calendar on the web and rss. And, if you have a current or upcoming event to share, add it to the Hermetic Library Calendar!
Here’s recurring calendar events in Hermeneuticon for this coming week.
- Greater Feast of Charles Stansfeld Jones, died February 24, 1950 at British Columbia, Canada
- Greater Feast of John Dee, Johannes Dee, died March 1609 (or December 1608) at Mortlake, England
- Greater Feast of Manes, died March 2, 274 at Gundeshapur, Sassanid Empire
- Greater Feast of Philip K Dick, died March 2, 1982 at Santa Ana, California
And check out these upcoming calendar events.
- The Magical Women of Ireland — March 5, 2023, online
- David Goddard — March 7, 2023, London, UK
- Death and Rebirth — March 10–12, 2023, Amsterdam, NL
- Harry Smith — Oct 4, 2023–Jan 2024, New York, NY, US
- How to See Venus and Jupiter Cozy Up in the Night Sky This Month
- First quarter moon, February 27
Here’s reminders for Thelemic Tephilah daily practice for this upcoming week, from the Hermeneuticon page for the month.
- Thelemic Tephilah, February 24, INTERREGNUM Silence; or T of WILT
- Thelemic Tephilah, February 25, INTERREGNUM Silence; or S of SHALL
- Thelemic Tephilah, February 26, INTERREGNUM Silence; or H of SHALL
- Thelemic Tephilah, February 27, INTERREGNUM Silence; or A of SHALL
- Thelemic Tephilah, February 28, INTERREGNUM Silence; or L of SHALL
- Thelemic Tephilah, March 1, INTERREGNUM, Silence; or L of SHALL
- Thelemic Tephilah, March 2, INTERREGNUM, Silence; or B of BE
- Thelemic Tephilah, March 3, INTERREGNUM, Silence; or E of BE
Follow Zine on the web and rss. And, if you something you’ve created to share, send it in to the Hermetic Library Zine!
I’ve slowed down posting to one item a week because I’m low on things. I more than filled the previous issue, but now I need more submissions for this current one, if it is to happen, as planned, on Aphelion 2023.
- Blue-lidded Daughter of Sunset by John Griogair Bell
Things to check out at Hermetic Library
- I added Hermeneuticon entries for Gaap and Prince of Swords, with images from the visual generation experiment on the blog.
- I created a new Hermeneuticon entry for Jane Wolfe, Estai.
- I added Crowley’s The Scientific Solution of the Problem of Government to the site, and added an entry to Hermeneuticon.
- I created new Hermeneuticon entries for Magick Power, A’ash vel Capricorni Pneumatici, A∴A∴ (essay), and The Confessions of Aleister Crowley
- I made some other updates, of various kinds, to Harry Smith, ∴ and A∴A∴ entries in Hermeneuticon; and the pages Books of Aleister Crowley, Anthology, The Sacramental Pentad, Book 4, Part II, and Technical Libers of Thelema
And on the blog
All the quotes, reviews, &c. (But not OG, Events Calendar, Zine, &c.)
- The Will to Battle—Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Will to Battle by Ada Palmer, book 3 of the Terra Ingota series.
- What is necessary is not to seek after some fantastic ideal, utterly unsuited to our real needs, but to discover the true nature of those needs, to fulfill them, and rejoice therein.—Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears, Chapter VIII: The Three Schools of Magick (3)
- Escape from Yokai Land—Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Escape from Yokai Land by Charles Stross, related to the Laundry Files series.
- I will only say that my main idea had been to found a community on the principles of The Book of the Law, to form an archetype of a new society. The main ethical principle is that each human being has his own definite object in life. He has every right to fulfil this purpose, and none to do anything else. It is the business of the community to help each of its members to achieve this aim; in consequence all rules should be made, and all questions of policy decided, by the application of this principle to the circumstances.—Aleister Crowley, Confessions, Chapter 87
- These, dear girl, are for you. They form this pleasant book. Now strip yourself and get a candle; lunge in front of a looking-glass and read and frig alternately. If you are grown up, a dog or a man to suck you saves labour—of any sort—and time. But I want you to swim in a perfect ocean of fuck as you read—and please God if we ever meet—what ho!—Aleister Crowley, Snowdrops from a Curate’s Garden, Prologue
- What the man in the street means by Atheist is the militant Atheist, Bradlaugh or Foote; and it is a singular characteristic of the Odium Theologicum that, instead of arguing soberly concerning the proposition, which those worthies put forward, they always try to drag the red herring of morality across the track. Of all the stupid lies that men have ever invented, nothing is much sillier than the lie that one who does not believe in God must be equally a disbeliever in morality. As a matter of fact, in a country which pretends so hard to appear theistic as England, it requires the most astounding moral courage, a positive galaxy of virtues, for a man to stand up and say that he does not believe in God; as Dr. Wace historically remarked, ‘it ought to be unpleasant for a man to say that he does not believe in Jesus’; and my dislike to Atheism is principally founded on the fact that so many of its exponents are always boring me about ethics. Some priceless idiot, who, I hope, will finish in the British Museum, remarked in a free-thinking paper the other day, that they need not trouble to pull down the churches, ‘because they will always be so useful for sane and serious discussion of important ethical problems.’ Personally, I would rather go back to the times when the preacher preached by the hour-glass.—Aleister Crowley, Concerning “Blasphemy” in General & the Rites of Eleusis in Particular
- Gaap—Generated visuals for Gaap from Goetia using MidJourney from a mix of parsed text description & seal image prompts.
- Century 2009—Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009 by Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill, & al.
- When I have been attacked, I have always looked at the matter impersonally. When I am publicly accused of stealing the towers of Notre Dame, I enjoy the joke thoroughly. I can’t believe that anything can hurt me. It would hurt my pride to admit it, I suppose. When a newspaper prints three columns, identifying me with Jack the Ripper, it never occurs to me that anyone in his senses would believe such rubbish. I imagine that my integrity is universally patient as sunrise; I can’t realize that I shall suffer in the estimation of anyone, or that (say) it will interfere with the sale of my books.—Aleister Crowley, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Chapter 43
- Any penetration is a grace offered to you by the person you’re inside; it is an intimate way of inclusion, a gift. No matter how hard or rough the fuck, no matter who is the top or bottom or anything else, no matter the genders of the participants, this is a world in which opening one’s self to someone else is always somewhere on the continuum between a gesture of welcome and an office of trust, and you should be grateful.—S Bear Bergman, Butch is a Noun
- Experience has taught me that imponderables are all-important; when science declares that it can concern itself only with that which can be measured, it classes itself with the child that counts on its fingers and brands Shakespeare and Shelley as Charlatans.—Aleister Crowley, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Chapter 27
- Prince of Swords—Generated visuals for Prince of Swords from Thoth Tarot, Knight of Swords in other decks, using MidJourney and Dall-E from a mix of parsed text description & card image prompts.
- Dark Company—Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Dark Company: The Ten Greatest Ghost Stories ed and introduction by Lincoln Child, with stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, Henry James, M R James, W W Jacobs, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, Oliver Onions, William Hope Hodgson, and H P Lovecraft.
- The absolute rule of the state shall be a function of the absolute liberty of each individual will.—Aleister Crowley, The Scientific Solution to the Problem of Government
- Occult Love Fest—It’s Occult Love Fest-ursday! The last Thursday o’ the month.
- No man or woman, from the Queen down to the beggar who spends the night on a doorstep, gets fair play. There isn’t a single human being in all the world who hasn’t been kept back from doing all he might by other people, or by circumstances of one sort or another. This place is meant for a struggle; and the only way to get through it comfortably is to cultivate a taste for struggling.—Florence Farr, The Dancing Faun
- the true Principle of Self-Control is Liberty. For we are born into a World which is in Bondage to Ideals; to them we are perforce fitted, even as the Enemies to the Bed of Procrustes. Each of us, as he grows, learns Repression of himself and his true Will. … these Passions in ourselves which we understand to be Hindrances are not part of our True Will, but diseased Appetites, manifest in us through false early Training.—Aleister Crowley, Liber Aleph, γ De Vita Corrigenda
- Anthology news, 23feb2023 [Bandcamp/Followers]