Tag Archives: become a patron

Who is the Librarian?

Over the years, since taking over the Hermetic Library, I’ve been bemused that I’ve been called enigmatic, anonymous, mysterious, and various other similar epithets as the Librarian. I’ve come to joke about myself as having a secret identity … the Enigmatic Super Villain known only as the Librarian!

Who is the Librarian?

 

Well, hello there! My name is John Griogair Bell and I’m the Librarian. Good to see you!

One of the first things I did when I took over was to create an About section with information about the library, its history, the founder, and, also, about me. I also added a Contact page along with providing contact information on all the pages. I also started all the social media accounts, and tried to be sure provide information that I was behind each of them. I’ve always tried to make clear who is responsible for the library; I don’t hide my identity. If the library is involved in a project, you’ll know because I say so; I don’t hide that I’m involved in any of my projects. For me, “Librarian” is merely an alias related to subject matter, and definitely not a sockpuppet.

To be brief, you can take a gander at the specific page at the library with my short bio or wander on over to my personal website to find out quite a lot more about me, and those will certainly get you started. Suffice to say I’m ridiculously easy to find online. Oh, and you might also be specifically interested in il Bagatino on my personal website where you can read a few of my esoteric-oriented documents I have put online.

But, as clear as I’ve been about who’s responsible for the library, I’ve also tried to be be sure that my activity on the site is about the material not about me. My activity related to the library has been ultimately about encouraging people to become involved with the materials there. Although I’ve occasionally posted a few pieces of my own work, such as a couple of book reviews and a few attempts to help analyze current topics related to the subject matter of the library, so far I’ve tried to keep that to a minimum and only done so when there’s definitely connection to the library.

Even still, when I post material to the blog that has an editorial voice which expresses my own personal opinions, I’ve tried to always put those in the Opinion Pages category to help make clear when I’m speaking for myself. Although I have not used the library site to promote my own work, and I do not have a section of my writing on the site, I have on a couple of occasions posted to the blog some of my own writing or creative work, which you can gander at by browsing the tag John Griogair Bell.

There are a few of these posts I thought I’d mention, briefly and certainly not exhaustively, as a representative example of what I’ve actually posted over the years. Take a gander:

 

Well, as hard as I’ve tried to both be clear about who I am and that I am the person responsible for the library while also avoiding the conflict of interest in using the site to promote my own work, writing and art; I’m starting to consider that it is time to go ahead and be a bit more indulgent.

Lately I have started to wonder about my own involvement in the library, and whether I should re-think my hesitation to speak in my own voice, to post my own work, to engage as myself. I’ve been thinking I should be more actively involved in creating content as well as being the voice of the library, posting in my own work, my own thoughts; and I’ve been considering making a commitment to doing so regularly as part of the Patron campaign for the library. I already spend a considerable and surprising amount of time working on tasks related to the library, but there could certainly be more.

Many years ago I used to run a Citadel BBS, or two, and had a daily practice of going through the board and posting daily, including a specific forum where I would force myself to post some bit of creative writing every day. In the last few years, at a Loch Lomond concert, I was introduced to the work of Paleo, who spent a year travelling and creating a song every day. One of the ideas I’ve been considering is making one of the future milestones for the Patron campaign that I make a commitment to post new work regularly instead of rarely.

For example, I could do more actual book reviews, interviews, articles and essays, and so forth. Of course, I’m also very interested in not only continuing to release Hermetic Library Albums from the Anthology Project, but I’d love to be able to revive the idea of doing a journal. And, quite a few other ideas that have been in mind for the library over the years.

I guess, ultimately, my question to you is this: Do you value what I’ve been doing with the Hermetic Library? Do you want more? Do you want to help support this work and add your voice to what the future for the library might become?

The best way to let me know is to become a Patron now and help reach the goal to announce the next Hermetic Library Album, and to support the future of the library.

 

If you appreciate the Hermetic Library site, or follow along with any of the blogs, tumblogs and social media related to the library, then please consider becoming an active Patron. Of course, there are a variety of ways you can help support and participate in the work of the library, but adding your voice as a Patron to this new campaign will be very much appreciated. Plus, this is your chance to help make Magick, Music and Ritual 10 happen in 2014!

Become a Patron of the Hermetic Library

 

Meanwhile, if you have any questions, comments or want to talk about the anthology project or the library, feel free to contact the librarian!

What can becoming a Patron make happen?

The first milestone for the Patron campaign for the Hermetic Library, hopefully the first in a journey of a thousand miles in good company with many adventures, is to be able to announce Magick, Music and Ritual 10 as the Hermetic Library Album from the Anthology Project for 2014

Please do consider joining the ranks of the remarkably attractive, erudite and welcome Patrons interested in supporting the work of library and reaching the initial campaign milestone, but you might be wondering what else beyond the initial goal can the Patron campaign accomplish with the help of more people …

 

What can becoming a Patron make happen?

I think there are three things to talk about here. The first is milestone goals for new activities everyone benefits from, the second is a menu Patron-exclusive rewards, and the third is different levels of patronage supporters can pledge. The matrix of how these three connect will be worked out over time, but feel free to get in touch if you’ve any thoughts or ideas that occur to you which I’ve not mentioned here. After all, part of being a Patron of the library is the community of practice we create together!

I have a number of ideas for future milestone goals, and if we manage to reach the initial goal I can add these, and perhaps others we can think up together. Here’s a sample of what I’ve been thinking about, and feel free to let me know what you think; but these are some examples of the things I think we could accomplish:

  • No more ads on the site or blogs
  • More book reviews
  • More art & letters
  • Reintroduce the book club … or, maybe, actual physical book club?
  • Interviews with authors, artists, practitioners and researchers
  • Audio updates, interviews and specials to the Hermetic Library audio pool
  • Videos on the Hermetic Library channel
  • Community discussion forum
  • Honoraria for articles, essays, arts and letters
  • Honoraria for video classes from teachers and instructors
  • Honoraria to interns for more additions and improvements to the site, and reportage on the blog, than I can do alone

Beyond the actual milestone goals, which create benefits for everyone, there should be specific and exclusive rewards for people who become Patrons of the library. Obviously, the first reward is that Patrons will be getting gratis download codes for at least one of the already released Hermetic Library Albums, and once the initial milestone is met, there’s also another gratis download code for Magick, Music and Ritual 10 for every Patron. But once the initial milestone goal is reached, I want to expand the variety of options and rewards for Patrons. Here’s some of what I’m thinking for the future:

  • Gratis anthology album download each year from the back catalogue
  • Gratis access to each new anthology release, whether album or journal
  • Possible gratis physical editions of albums and journals from the Anthology Project
  • Tchotchkes sent periodically in the mail for those that would like them, such as your very own actual Hermetic Library Patron Card and so forth
  • Access to a private Patron discussion forum for feedback, updates and early access to content, such as new material and videos, which you can discuss and offer feedback on
  • Privately published, special small press printing of works from the library and guest artists, poets and authors, in fancy collectible limited editions for your personal library
  • Invitation to a monthly video conference with the Librarian and other top patrons where we can talk about the site and anything of related interest
  • Invitation to video conferences for personal follow-up Q&A sessions with select presenters, authors and other people of interest from the Hermetic Library video channel or Anthology Project

Of course, there will always be the basic $1/mo level of patronage with spiffy rewards like gratis download codes to anthology releases, but I also expect to spread all the various rewards across a variety of reward levels, with a few limited to a small number of Patrons, such as: Basic Patron, Friend of the Library, True Fan/Subscription, High-Income/Organizational, and perhaps even a very exclusive Community Advisory Board.

 

Become a Patron of the Hermetic Library

If you appreciate the Hermetic Library site, or follow along with any of the blogs, tumblogs and social media related to the library, then please consider becoming an active Patron. Of course, there are a variety of ways you can help support and participate in the work of the library, but adding your voice as a Patron to this new campaign will be very much appreciated. Plus, this is your chance to help make Magick, Music and Ritual 10 happen in 2014!

Meanwhile, if you have any questions, comments or want to talk about the anthology project, feel free to contact the librarian!

Why have a Patron campaign?

I thought I’d write down a few initial thoughts about why I started the Patreon campaign for the Hermetic Library and why I think having the support of Patrons is important, but the elevator pitch is this:

With your support and encouragement as a Patron of the Hermetic Library, I can continue the ongoing work and expansion of the site as well as develop new content and special projects. And, the more Patrons, the more fun for everyone.

Why have a Patron campaign?

Since taking over the library, I have wanted to not only maintain the library but to also constantly improve the site and work to expand the ways the site fulfills my vision for why it exists. I spent some time thinking about what the site meant to me and what I thought was the overall mission for the site. With everything I have done with the site I have tried to have that vision in mind, a vision to be of service to the larger community but to stay focused on those activities which were sustainable and in service to that mission.

Currently, the library has been self-sustaining. Hosting costs for the site are generally met each month and so forth. While meeting the basic costs of the site is sufficient, with your help I’d love to be able to do more. Take a gander at some of the special projects that I’ve already talked about wanting to do, and imagine with me what else might be possible.

Some of the things I’ve already talked about are the special projects featured on the library site, such as The Serapeion Project: Occult ‘Zine, Journal and Ephemera Preservation, Hermetic Library Reading Room and Hermetic Library Anthology Project, to name a few.

But, I’ve got other ideas as well, which I’d like to explore. For example, what if I could pay authors and artists for participation in the Anthology Project? Instead of asking people to donate the use of their music, art, and writing; I could offer actual compensation for those creating new and original work such as arts and letters, essays and articles, interviews and reviews, for the site, or, in particular, to participants on future Hermetic Library Albums and finally realize the Hermetic Library Journal … or maybe even start creating videos for the as yet unused YouTube channel for the library? Other things that could be possible with help would be opportunities like paid internships to help with improving and expanding the site, additional posts to the blog about things of interest, and more! Those ideas are just a few to give you an idea of what I’m thinking, and would love to be able to do, for how being a Patron will help make more magick happen.

The first step, hopefully the first in a journey of a thousand miles in good company with many adventures, is to reach the initial goal to announce Magick, Music and Ritual 10 as the Hermetic Library Album from the Anthology Project for 2014!

 

Your interest and your support as a Patron of the Hermetic Library will determine what the library is able to accomplish. The first future goal that can happen only with your help is that I will announce Magick, Music and Ritual 10 as the Hermetic Library Album from the Anthology Project for 2014!

If you decide to become a Patron by pledging $1/month or more to help support the work of the library, I will send you one gratis download code for any one of the nine already released Hermetic Library Albums from the Anthology Project, that’s any of the Magick, Music and Ritual releases from 2011–2013, in thanks. You can use that download code yourself, or even give it to someone else as a gift if you like.

If you aren’t familiar with the project and all the artists who have participated, then check out all the previously released anthology albums. If you enjoy these anthology albums as much as I have consider participating when the next call for submissions is posted, and let people you know, who may be interested in these albums, know about the project.

When the campaign reaches its initial goal, I will announce Magick, Music and Ritual 10. Once that has been created and released, as a patron you will receive a gratis download code for the entire album, for yourself or to give as a gift to someone else. That’s in addition to the previous code, so, if this initial milestone is reached, you will get at least 2 whole digital albums of fantastic music this year!

Also once this initial campaign goal is met, I will introduce additional new stretch goals and Patron rewards that you can help make happen for the future expansion of the site, and I hope to be able to announce a number of goals and rewards that I think will be exciting for everyone.

 

If you appreciate the Hermetic Library site, or follow along with any of the blogs, tumblogs and social media related to the library, then please consider becoming an active Patron. Of course, there are a variety of ways you can help support and participate in the work of the library, but adding your voice as a Patron to this new campaign will be very much appreciated. Plus, this is your chance to help make Magick, Music and Ritual 10 happen in 2014!

Become a Patron of the Hermetic Library

 

Meanwhile, if you have any questions, comments or want to talk about the anthology project, feel free to contact the librarian!

Will you help make Magick, Music and Ritual 10 happen?

You can help make Magick, Music and Ritual 10 happen this year as an annual anthology release by supporting the Patreon campaign for the Hermetic Library. Would you please consider supporting the ongoing work and expansion of the library by becoming a Patron today?

This is around the time when I would have announced another call for submissions for the next Hermetic Library Album from the Anthology Project. Unfortunately, earlier this year I announced Magick, Music and Ritual 10 would be indefinitely postponed and there will be no quarterly releases from the project in 2014.

Your interest and your support as a Patron of the Hermetic Library will determine what the library is able to accomplish. The first future goal that will happen only with your help is that I will announce Magick, Music and Ritual 10 as the Hermetic Library Album from the Anthology Project for 2014!

Help reach the goal to announce Magick Music and Ritual 10 for 2014

 

When the campaign reaches the initial milestone of 100 Patrons, I will announce Magick, Music and Ritual 10 as the Hermetic Library Album from the Anthology Project for 2014. Once released, all patrons will receive a gratis download code for the entire album, for yourself or to give as a gift to someone else. That’s in addition to the previous code, so, if this initial milestone is reached, for merely $1/month you will get at least 2 whole digital albums of fantastic music this year!

If you aren’t familiar with the project and all the artists who have participated, then check out all the previously released anthology albums. If you enjoy these anthology albums as much as I have consider participating when the next call for submissions is posted, and let people you know, who may be interested in these albums, know about the project.

 

If you decide to become a Patron by pledging $1/month or more to help support the work of the library, I will send you one gratis download code for any one of the nine already released Hermetic Library Albums from the Anthology Project, that’s any of the Magick, Music and Ritual releases from 2011–2013, in thanks. You can use that download code yourself, or even give it to someone else as a gift if you like.

Also once this initial campaign goal is met, I will introduce additional new stretch goals and Patron rewards that you can help make happen for the future expansion of the site, and I hope to be able to announce a number of goals and rewards that I think will be exciting for everyone.

If you appreciate the Hermetic Library site, or follow along with any of the blogs, tumblogs and social media related to the library, then please consider becoming an active Patron. Of course, there are a variety of ways you can help support and participate in the work of the library, but adding your voice as a Patron to this new campaign will be very much appreciated. Plus, this is your chance to help make Magick, Music and Ritual 10 happen in 2014!

Become a Patron of the Hermetic Library

 

Meanwhile, if you have any questions, comments or want to talk about the anthology project, feel free to contact the librarian!

The Hermetic Library Reading Room

I was going to write a post with a bit more about my current thinking around the Reading Room, but I went looking for my original post … only apparently I never got around to the first post on this topic. I’ve been talking about the Reading Room to be sure, but don’t seem to have posted something here specifically about the idea. Well. So, this follow up post is now the first post! FIRST POST! (*ahem*)

I’d like to, belatedly, introduce the Hermetic Library Reading Room, which, at least in conception, is far more than just a category on this blog featuring a series of posts and reviews about books and materials. And, this post is part of getting some of my thoughts sorted as well as sharing some of that thinking with you!

Hermetic Library Reading Room

 

The idea for the Hermetic Library Reading Room is one of an imaginary and speculative future reification of the virtual library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition.

The Hermetic Library sits in many ways at an intersection of esoteric subject matter and modern technology, and I am always looking for ways to expand the collection of the Hermetic Library, and ways to further the overall mission of the library, that are both possible and sustainable.

At various times, as I’ve tried to imagine what activities would take the Hermetic Library into the next decade and beyond, beyond simply maintaining what currently exists, one of the various ideas I find myself coming back to again and again is developing what has been an amazing and valuable virtual resource into a real world library.

In thinking about the idea of developing an actual physical space, I’ve been imagining a place that would be a kind of esoteric reading room, inspired by famous library reading rooms which have played so large a part in the history of the development of modern occultism, especially during the pivotal period around the early 20th century, but also a space for wider use. I’ve sketched out the idea in my mind, and have imagined that this is something that I could make happen within the next 5 years, if things work well. Although, obviously, I’m still in the visioning phase of my own reification and imagineering process.

Developing a physical library could complement the overall mission of the library by offering an absolutely stunning and staggering array of emergent possibilities, including but certainly not limited to:

· Reference Section — Offering a physical and expanding collection of Hermetic Library books, journals, multimedia and other resources available for use by students and researchers

· Visiting Collections — Featuring temporary, visiting collections of books, arts, crafts and other cultural artifacts

· Esoteric Art Gallery — Showing the work of artists inspired by the Western Esoteric Tradition

· Cultural Series — Presenting public and private events which spread esoteric culture, including book signings and tours, guest lectures, music and dramatic shows, and more

In addition to a physical location, I’ve also thought a possible future goal for the recently announced Patreon campaign for the Hermetic Library could be to create a lending library reward for some supporters. What if at some level of reward, a supporter could request one from a selection of circulating books in the library catalog be lent to them for some period of time? This is something to certainly consider, and a way to be of service to people in a much larger area; but we’re not yet even close to achieving the first goal over there, let alone thinking about further goals.

What do you think? Send me an email with comments or questions. If you would like to help contribute to the development of an actual Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider becoming a Patron of the library, or donating materials such as books and other items to help build the physical collection.

 

If you are an author of esoteric or occult works, whether fiction or non-fiction, you might consider thinking of the Hermetic Library Reading Room as a sort of deposit library, a place where your published output can be systematically kept and made available, but preserved for the benefit of our shared heritage.

If you are a practitioner, you might consider thinking of the Hermetic Library as a place to bequeath your personal papers, books, artifacts, ephemera and more; to be held and preserved, and either made available or kept under set conditions.

Is your personal library overflowing with esoteric or occult books which you think are important parts of a library collection? Then, perhaps, you would consider donating those to the library.

Do you possess, or are you responsible for, a cornerstone collection of materials related to the subject matter of the library, an established collection perhaps in search of a permanent home? Consider getting in contact with the me to discuss whether there is a suitable synergy to meet our shared goals.

Are you someone involved with the creation of either historical or current esoterically oriented ‘zines or other periodicals? Perhaps you would consider including the library on your mailing or distribution list. You may also be interested in the Serapeion Project: Occult ‘Zine, Journal and Ephemera Preservation where I’d like to make an entry about your work, request permission to catalogue your issues, and perhaps permission to also preserve the presentation and contents of those issues similar to the Caduceus Archives at the library.

If you are a publisher, you might consider sending books to the Hermetic Library Reading Room for exposure to and possible review by students and researchers, as well as being available in the library catalog. Perhaps as time goes by there can be special arrangements made to acquire full back catalogs of your publishing output as well, either donated or perhaps by arranged purchase if ever I have an actual budget for such things.

Are you someone responsible for a library or other venue with an esoteric or occult focus? Perhaps you would consider getting in contact to let me know about you, your space and particulars about your mission and activities.

Anyhow, if you are any of these things, or something else entirely that I’ve not thought of, I can be notoriously quixotic about networking, but get in touch and at least let me know about yourself and what you do.

 

I do have to mention that the idea of this kind of physical space is not new, or unique.

Fenwick Rysen’s Chaos Matrix home page talked about creating a non-profit in order to develop an actual physical library, but after several years that news is no longer new or even there, so perhaps that is no longer a future goal for him, but it was for quite a while. I did try getting in contact once back in ’10 about the site, and have to admit that the stated goal there certainly must have been one influence on my thinking about developing a physical space.

There’s the New Alexandrian Library project at Sacred Wheel that was close to laying their physical foundation back in 2011, and is apparently still seeking funding for the project. So, maybe the foundation still hasn’t been laid, but they’ve got rather ambitious plans outlined.

However, there are several, and longstanding, physical libraries in actual existence. At one Esoteric Book Conference, I met a volunteer who reminded me about The Seattle Metaphysical Library.

There’s the Rogue Valley Metaphysical Library in Ashland, OR, which recently became the home of the George Roman Library as a cornerstone collection, a collection I found whilst researching the idea of cornerstone collections. Although the George Roman Library and Hermetic Library were not ultimately a good fit, I did have some nice conversations with the caretaker of that collection, so I’m glad it has found a suitable permanent home.

I once was a personal reference for a friend seeking access to the Lending Library of The Theosophical Society in Seattle, which resides behind Quest Bookshop, which was one of my frequented book shops back in the day.

There’s also others such as the library of the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles, CA and the library at AMORC‘s Rosicrucian Park in San Jose, CA.

Suffice to say that there are physical libraries dedicated to esoteric and occult materials out there that are more or less open to the public.

 

But, here’s a confession: while I used to more frequently, and less so now, visit a number of book shops, of all the physical esoteric libraries I’ve just mentioned, I’ve not actually been to any of them. That list would make an interesting itinerary, and maybe you’ve been to one or a few of them, or others. But, generally speaking, I’ve never had or felt the need to visit any of them, aside from a vague desire to experience them and see what’s there.

When I lived in Seattle as an adult, I had a kind of wicked polygon I’d travel sometimes as a walkabout that included Quest Bookshop along with East-West Books, Astrology et al., Edge of the Circle, Shorey’s Bookshop, and maybe some others I’ve forgotten to mention, where I’d go to see what was either new or interesting.

I did make the Library of Congress a stop on a tour of the East Coast I made a couple years ago, went through the process of being credentialed, and spend a few hours with the bound copies of The International that reside there; and that was a particular highlight, among others, of the trip for me. However, I didn’t get the chance to pilgrimage to the physical shop of Weiser Antiquarian though it was suggested as being definitely worth doing.

There are certainly also venues, not specifically libraries, out there. Most local bodies of Ordo Templi Orientis, for example, and no doubt other fraternal organizations, keep libraries for members with many useful and interesting resources. Also there are venues, such as the Observatory Room NYC, with many interesting esoteric events.

Perhaps if you’ve a favourite library, book shop or other venue, you’d be interested in letting me know about that, what it is that you enjoy about that space, and perhaps you’d even consider sending in a review of that location with a photo or two, which I might share with others?

Become a Patron to launch Magick, Music and Ritual 10 for 2014

Today I am announcing a new Patreon campaign for the Hermetic Library. Would you please consider supporting the ongoing work and expansion of the library by becoming a Patron today?

Your interest and your support will determine what the library is able to accomplish. The first future goal that will happen only with your help is that I will announce Magick, Music and Ritual 10 as the Hermetic Library Album from the Anthology Project for 2014!

Become a Patron of the Hermetic Library

 

If you decide to become a Patron by pledging $1/month or more to help support the work of the library, I will send you one gratis download code for any one of the nine already released Hermetic Library Albums from the Anthology Project, that’s any of the Magick, Music and Ritual releases from 2011–2013, in thanks. You can use that download code yourself, or even give it to someone else as a gift if you like.

 

When the campaign reaches the initial milestone of 100 Patrons, I will announce Magick, Music and Ritual 10 as the Hermetic Library Album from the Anthology Project for 2014. Once released, all patrons will receive a gratis download code for the entire album, for yourself or to give as a gift to someone else. That’s in addition to the previous code, so, if this initial milestone is reached, for merely $1/month you will get at least 2 whole digital albums of fantastic music this year!

If you’ve enjoyed these anthology albums as much as I have, then be sure to check out all the previously released anthology albums, consider participating when the next call for submissions is posted, and let people you know, who may be interested in these albums, know about the project.

Help reach the goal to announce Magick Music and Ritual 10 for 2014

 

Also once this initial campaign goal is met, I will introduce additional new stretch goals and Patron rewards that you can help make happen for the future expansion of the site, and I hope to be able to announce a number of goals and rewards that I think will be exciting for everyone.

If enjoy the Hermetic Library site, and any of the blogs, tumblogs and social media related to the library, then please consider becoming an active Patron. Of course, there are a variety of ways you can help support and participate in the work of the library, but adding your voice as a Patron to this new campaign will be very much appreciated. Plus, this is your chance to help make Magick, Music and Ritual 10 happen in 2014!

 

Meanwhile, if you have any questions, comments or want to talk about the anthology project, feel free to contact the librarian!