An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for November 4, 2020
It’s the first Omnium Gatherum of the month, so I’ve again made this available, not just to Omnologists and above, but to all ongoing Patrons! Please enjoy this grab-bag of interesting things in partial thanks for your ongoing support of Hermetic Library and the work I do. Thank you!
Lots going on in the world, in general and in specific. Consider self-care. If you need it, there is 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline +1-800-273-8255. Feeling stressed out? Head to Crisis Text Line or text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. Need help with LGBTQ+ issues? Head to The Trevor Project, text START to 678678 or call the +1-866-488-7386. Want help figuring out what to do? Go to MindWise Innovations’ Mental Health Screening for a brief, anonymous, and confidential questionnaire for recommendations and key resources.
I’ve been doing more to link to shops other than Amazon. I’ve talked about this before, and I’ve been doing this more or less for a while now already. You can see plenty of examples on the blog and below, of course. However, here’s a recent article about Bookshop expanding to include indie bookshops in the UK: “‘This is revolutionary’: new online bookshop unites indies to rival Amazon. Bookshop.org, which launched in the US earlier this year, has accelerated UK plans and goes online this week in partnership with more than 130 shops.”
I’ve been thinking more about how I might still develop an active mailing list. Haven’t done anything about it, but I realized I’ve got two topics for lists, probably separate: anthology activity and a general attempt to reach people outside of social media algorithms. I’m definitely going to be in the thinking about it phase for a while. As an aside, and reminder, you can check out the old list I experimented with, but only posted a couple newsletters before realizing that the way I was doing things wasn’t sustainable. Also, I’ve tried a lot of different ways to try to get people to connect more directly, like the old BBS and Discord, but so far Patreon has been the only one with much traction or that’s sustained. Anyhow, so, I’ve got some experience to include in trying to think about how I’d go about it now.
Just a reminder that Astronomical Samhain, ☉ at 15° ♏ (Sun at 15° Scorpio) occurs in the Northern Hemisphere at 22:56 UTC on November 7, 2020. So, feel free to keep the month of Halloween going for a few more days!
And, I previously posted this only for Patrons with various Exchange perks, but still have these treats unclaimed. So, I’m going to open these to all of you Patrons!
As a special treat for you all as ongoing Patrons, I have a number of things which I thought I’d offer first-come-first-served. If you want one of these, comment on this over at Patreon; or send an email, private message, or soever with your request. I’m making this open to all of you. I’ll contact you privately for your preferred mailing address if you’re first-served.
1. Esoteric Book Conference (small-ish) Tchotchke Bag
2. EGC (front) / Sekhet Maat Lodge (back) Shirt Large
3. 418 Lodge 30th Anniversary Shirt Medium
4. Esoteric Book Conference (slightly off center) Shirt Medium
5. Robert Anton Wilson Medical Fundraiser / If you can read this, you are a Pope! Shirt Large
Um. Yeah. These are all black fabric. Huh. Go figure. Each have been lightly worn (er, or used, in the case of the bag) once or twice at most, but either way are washed and clean and have been in storage for ages. Some may have bonus library cat fur and dander, as all have been in a home with several cats, so if you’ve allergies, consider proper airlock protocols until they are washed (again.) But, they’re spiffy, and I thought they’d make a nice treat that some of you might want!
Here’s a variety of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:
- 18th Annual Conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions, IAHR Regional Conference, Pisa, August 30–September 3, 2021. “Resilient Religion. Resilience can be considered as the ability to counteract or absorb a process of transformation. It is also characterized by a capacity to endure changes without having to adapt permanently, an ability to find what best suits new environmental conditions; and an awareness of how to cope with a crisis. In this sense, religion – whether in its institutionalized forms or just as a simple belief in any relationship with a super-human agency – represents a powerful tool for reacting to difficult situations and establishing a relationship with the sacred thanks to the interaction between spirituality, mindfulness, empathy and the emotions.”
- Pretty much qualifies as an example of the Crowley Corollary: Satanic Panic at the Vacation Destination! “Aleister Crowley: Satanic fears over tours of Boleskine House” and “Fears Satanists could target historic house on banks of Loch Ness” and “Plans to turn fire-ravaged Loch Ness house of Aleister Crowley into holiday lodges spark fears area will become a shrine for SATANISTS visiting home of ‘world’s wickedest man’ who inspired some of Rock n’ Roll’s darkest music.” Also “Owner of spooky Scots mansion gets security to keep fanatics away at Halloween.”
- “Was The Beatles’ real-life Sgt. Pepper actually ‘the wickedest man in the world’?”
- More like simply a sexy devil costume than canonical Baphomet, tbh, but sure, okay, Daily Mail. Whatever. “Jesy Nelson wows as she undergoes incredible transformation to pose as ghoulish Baphomet (complete with red skin and goat horns!) for Halloween.”
- The Platonizing Sethian Background of Plotinus’s Mysticism [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Zeke Mazur; Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies, Volume: 98; published posthumously—”In The Platonizing Sethian Background of Plotinus’s Mysticism, Zeke Mazur offers a radical reconceptualization of Plotinus with reference to Gnostic thought and praxis.”
- Metatron: Revealing Ancient Knowledge, an open-access journal initiative of Bible and Religions of the Ancient Near East Collective (BRANE), hosted by Renewed Philology at Yale. “Metatron is a journal of modern philology and the ancient imagination offering new vistas on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. Named after the mediating angel of Jewish mysticism, it is designed to open cutting-edge research to a broad intellectual community.” “Metatron logo by David Tibet.”
- PLOTINUS Ennead III.4: On Our Allotted Guardian Spirit Translation, with an Introduction, and Commentary [Amazon, Publisher] by Wiebke-Marie Stock and PLOTINUS Ennead VI.9: On the Good or the One, Translation, with an Introduction, and Commentary [Amazon, Publisher] by Stephen R L Clark, both part of The Enneads of Plotinus—With Philosophical Commentaries Series edited by John M Dillon and Andrew Smith.
- “Dead Shells and Black Plaques: ‘The English Heretic Collection’.” About The English Heretic Collection: Ritual Histories, Magickal Geography [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Andy Sharp—”Andy Sharp delivers a visionary field report based on fifteen years of deep-vein creative research expeditions to England’s strangest landscapes with a host of tragic players.”
- Magic: A History. From Alchemy to Witchcraft, from the Ice Age to the Present [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Chris Gosden, due in a few days. “An Oxford professor of archaeology explores the unique history of magic―the oldest and most neglected strand of human behavior and its resurgence today ”
- At the Mountains of Madness, Volume I, H.P. Lovecraft’s masterpiece illustrated by François Baranger, on pre-order, from Free League, due end of November. “Dreadful secrets lie beneath the ice, waiting to be discovered. Strange, cyclopean structures squat amidst the mountains towering in the distance, promising only madness to those who dare to explore their alien architecture.”
- “Does Knowing God Just Take Practice? For both the faithful and the doubtful, the source of religious experience can seem mysterious. One anthropologist explores belief in more mundane terms—as a form of expertise.” About How God Becomes Real: Kindling the Presence of Invisible Others [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by T M Luhrmann—”The hard work required to make God real, how it changes the people who do it, and why it helps explain the enduring power of faith”
- Masters of None? About The Polymath: A Cultural History from Leonardo da Vinci to Susan Sontag [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Peter Burke—”From Leonardo Da Vinci to John Dee and Comenius, from George Eliot to Oliver Sacks and Susan Sontag, polymaths have moved the frontiers of knowledge in countless ways. But history can be unkind to scholars with such encyclopedic interests. All too often these individuals are remembered for just one part of their valuable achievements. In this engaging, erudite account, renowned cultural historian Peter Burke argues for a more rounded view. Identifying 500 western polymaths, Burke explores their wide-ranging successes and shows how their rise matched a rapid growth of knowledge in the age of the invention of printing, the discovery of the New World and the Scientific Revolution. It is only more recently that the further acceleration of knowledge has led to increased specialization and to an environment that is less supportive of wide-ranging scholars and scientists.”
- “The Case for Embracing Uncertainty in Art. Ben Eastham on the Value of Bewilderment.” From The Imaginary Museum: A Personal Tour of Contemporary Art Featuring Ghosts, Nudity and Disagreements [Bookshelf, Amazon, Publisher] by Ben Eastham—”Join the art critic Ben Eastham on a private tour of an extraordinary museum. Let him walk you through a building constructed from memory and filled with a series of bewildering art works, while he delivers a guide comprised of personal experience, professional expertise and sympathy.”
- The Antichrist Tradition in Antiquity: Antimessianism in Second Temple and Early Christian Literature [Publisher] by Mateusz Kusio—”Published in English. Mateusz Kusio traces and investigates the references to the Antichrist across ancient Jewish and Christian literature. Beginning with a reception-historical study of a number of eschatological and oracular texts in the Hebrew Bible, he goes on to discuss texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, biblical pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha, and Patristic writings. The study reveals an anti-messianic tradition involving a variety of eschatological antagonists in conflict with diverse messianic actors that stretches across both Jewish and Christian corpora and revolves around a set of similar motifs, ideas, and core Biblical texts.”
- “The Age of Small-Scale Societal Reforms Should Have Ended Long Ago.” Excerpt from Manifesto for a Dream: Inequality, Restraint, and Radical Reform [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Michelle Jackson—”A searing critique of our contemporary policy agenda, and a call to implement radical change.”
- “The Fascinating World of Neanderthal Aesthetics.” About Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Rebecca Wragg Sykes—”In Kindred, Neanderthal expert Rebecca Wragg Sykes shoves aside the cliché of the shivering ragged figure in an icy wasteland, and reveals the Neanderthal you don’t know, our ancestor who lived across vast and diverse tracts of Eurasia and survived through hundreds of thousands of years of massive climate change. This book sheds new light on where they lived, what they ate, and the increasingly complex Neanderthal culture that researchers have discovered.”
- “Michiko Kakutani on Why Hannah Arendt is Essential Reading.” Adapted from Ex Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Michiko Kakutani—”Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani shares 100 personal, thought-provoking essays about books that have mattered to her and that help illuminate the world we live in today–with beautiful illustrations throughout.”
- “On the Covert Role of Knitting During the French Revolution and World War II. Loretta Napoleoni Traces the History of Women Who Stitched Their Way To Freedom.” From The Power of Knitting [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Loretta Napoleoni—”Purl and stitch: Empowering, healing, and reconnecting us to each other and ourselves.”
- More about this: “A Book to Conjure Nature, When We Need It Most.” About The Lost Spells [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher] by Robert MacFarlane, illustrated by Jackie Morris—”Since its publication in 2017, The Lost Words has enchanted readers with its poetry and illustrations of the natural world. Now, The Lost Spells, a book kindred in spirit and tone, continues to re-wild the lives of children and adults. The Lost Spells evokes the wonder of everyday nature, conjuring up red foxes, birch trees, jackdaws, and more in poems and illustrations that flow between the pages and into readers’ minds. Robert Macfarlane’s spell-poems and Jackie Morris’s watercolour illustrations are musical and magical: these are summoning spells, words of recollection, charms of protection. To read The Lost Spells is to see anew the natural world within our grasp and to be reminded of what happens when we allow it to slip away.”
- “Portland-Based Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group Joins Forces With Chooseco LLC in Launching Brand New Line of Immersive Graphic Novels. The Official Choose Your Own Adventure Graphic Novels to Launch in Summer 2021.”
- “CD: Cunning Folk – A Casual Invocation. Thrilling album of spells, hexes and the great god Pan—”‘Pan to Artemis’ is a heavy, psychedelic, mind-warping setting of one of Aleister Crowley’s poems fusing the god of the wild with the goddess of the hunt.” About A Casual Invocation [Amazon, Spotify] by Cunning Folk. Also read Pan to Artemis / Uncharmable Charmer at the end of The Rite of Luna, one of the Rites of Eleusis or watch a performance of the piece by Eleusyve Productions from 2005).
- It’s the new C64! “Raspberry Pi 400 review—the under-$100 desktop PC you didn’t know you needed. The Pi 400 isn’t a powerful desktop PC—but it is a desktop PC, for $100 or less.”
- “New haunted house study suggests there’s a sweet spot for recreational fear. It’s just the latest study exploring the mind/body connection between fear and fun.”
- Robot taste-tester reporting for duty! “Using radar to detect foreign objects in foods”
- “Capacitivo: Contact-Based Object Recognition on Interactive Fabrics using Capacitive Sensing“—”In this paper, we present a contact-based object recognition technique on interactive fabrics using capacitive sensing. Our technique senses and recognizes non-metallic objects that are common in homes or workspaces, such as food items, dinnerware, plastic, and paper products. When an object is in contact with the fabric, our technique recognizes the object based on its capacitance footprint. Consequently, a desired action can be triggered. For example, a smoothie recipe can be suggested to a user based on what fruit or vegetable the user has inside a basket, detected through its cloth lining.”
- “MIT Team’s Cough Detector Identifies 97% of COVID-19 Cases Even in Asymptomatic People.”
- “Police Will Pilot a Program to Live-Stream Amazon Ring Cameras.”
- “FOUND: Rediscovery of Lost Chameleon Reveals Reptile’s (Spectacular) True Colors. Expedition Team in Madagascar Gets Rare Photos and Video of Flashy Voeltzkow’s Chameleon.”
- “The Man Who Helped Turn 4chan Into the Internet’s Racist Engine. 4chan moderators and leaked chat logs show that the infamous imageboard didn’t become the hateful site it’s known as by accident. A powerful moderator intentionally helped make it that way.”
- “The Tale of Two Competing NXIVM Documentaries. Where HBO’s ‘The Vow’ dwells on cult leader Keith Raniere’s anodyne mask to heighten the shock of what lies beneath, Starz’s ‘Seduced’ sacrifices that shock for a sharper portrait of the monster within.”
- Will there be fire and a fiddle? “Trump plans huge White House party amid dire pandemic warnings. Leaked internal reports show how alarmed top adviser is about the state of the country.”
- “What I Told My Daughter After Police Pepper-Sprayed Us on a March to the Polls. ‘Mommy! Why is this happening?'”
- Watch “J R Bob Dobbs & the Church of the SubGenius“, trailer, directed by Sandy K Boone, written by Sandy K Boone and Jason Wehling, from Dark Star Pictures and Uncork’d Entertainment. Also “‘J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius’.” Also watch “Sandy K. Boone | J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius.” Also “Sandy K Boone Talks About Her Film J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius – SXSW Filmmaker In Focus.” Originally titled Slacking Towards Bethlehem: J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius, this was the result of a crowdfunding effort.
- More about this: The Craft: Legacy—”The TLDR: It is a charming trifle made for teenagers, with a bit of interesting cultural politics. If you love the exuberantly hokey original, you will like this revisitation.”
- The Practice of Paranoia—”The practice of paranoia is to stay with the feelings of the initial vertigo, to attend to the narratives that might arise—which may, after all, be true or at least figuratively useful—but to not grasp at them like life-preservers of false certainty. Distrust the world, as you must, but distrust your thoughts about the world as well. Stay with the trouble, and try not to panic. Surf, don’t submit. Breathe.”
- “How to Read the Air.”—”Why birds? Because to make sense of things this desperate fall I have been rereading the Greeks, and the Greeks say birds tell us what is to come.”
- Understand That You Can Never Understand—”What I’m trying to say is that you should do your best to be understanding of those who have problems different from your own. And if you ever find yourself not really getting someone’s issues, you should consider yourself lucky. Be patient. Be understanding. And be kind.”
- Consequences of Deferred Maintenance—”What the deregulatory and deconstructive impulse share is a distinctly temporal quality, instilling the slow seep of future degradation even as immediate consequences are typically nonexistent.”
- “Lupin III: The First and Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle of Cagliostro are a perfect double bill. The 1979 movie and the new CGI story showcase the same version of an iconic character.” Maurice Leblanc’s pulp anti-hero in a best of collection: Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher], just be careful not to fall down the tantalizing and tempting Wold Newton rabbit hole!
- “But, after all, what is a scholar? One who may not break bounds under pain of expulsion from the academy of which he is a member.”—Robert Graves, The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher]; quoted at What Is a Scholar?
- Watch Building an artificial sun that looks unbelievably realistic…
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.