Hmm, what’s this that’s arrived at the Reading Room in the mail?
Hmm, what’s this that’s arrived at the Reading Room in the mail?
Let’s open this package that’s arrived at the Reading Room!
Today I got my new reading peepers. I picked out Warby Parker’s Chamberlain in jet black. Kinda retro nerd frames, but new? I got a strong reading lens good for close up stuff, like, well, reading; less for computer work, unless I kinda lean in a bit. (Then it’s super clear!) But, holding and reading books again without eyestrain from my old prescription will be nice. Also, progressives would have at least tripled the cost, so screw that! Can’t afford that, and, besides, this way, I get different frames to wear. That’s both a fashion win, but also a question of not putting all my eyeballs in one basket, in case the basket breaks or gets stepped on, or summint, right? Although, I may actually need a 3rd pair for that safety net, since, you know, if my daily drivers get crushed, I’m not going to be able to wear my readers around on the regular, am I?
My new peepers arrived in the mail today, so I opened them!
In the box was a box and in that box was a case. These new reading peepers came in the same style storage case as my earlier new daily driver pair, with a cleaning cloth.
And here they are! They are darker and taller frames than my first pair. I figured having them be taller would give me more chance to see the bottom of book pages without the frame getting in the way. Idek. Maybe? I’ll see! (Or, I won’t. ::whomp whomp::)
I previously posted The Lunar Dial as an Omnium Gatherum about this, but I was interested in checking it out, for reasons.
The box arrived and I opened it.
Here’s what comes in the game box, which doesn’t look like a whole lot until spreading it out.
The satiny fabric game mat is bigger than I thought it would be, and actually too big to fully fit on my work desk.
In the center of the game mat is where the eponymous lunar dial is placed, and that determines the suit of each of the three “celestial realms”.
There are 52 moon cards in the main deck, with four suits (Full, Half, Crescent, and New moons) with 10 small cards and 3 court cards each (Shadow, Priestess, and Goddess for 11, 12, and 13, respectively).
There is also a deck of 12 zodiac cards, each has some self-amending rule effect on gameplay when revealed.
In addition to the 12 white-glass scoring “moonstone” tokens, there’s a set of four quick guide / scoring cards, on for each possible player.
As predicted, I can find no reason to think this actually has anything to do with the podcast other than as a marketing gimmick. You need know absolutely nothing about the podcast to play this game, nor is there anything I can find that’s even slightly enhanced for fans of the podcast, such as easter eggs or references in the box. Claiming this game is in any way based on the podcast is beyond the pale. Other than on the box the game comes in and on a few game components, the only mention of the podcast is on the back cover of the rulebook which is an ad for it, so that appears to have exactly fuck all to do with anything except brand name licensing and ad copy.
Also, yep. After checking it out, I feel this is obviously inspired by the gameplay of Illimat [Amazon, Twogether Studios],, though there appears to be neither any involvement by Keith Baker, which is good for me personally for reasons, nor, way less cool, any even passing hat tip or mention of the inspiration. Whilst it is reasonably slick in design aesthetic, also as predicted, it doesn’t anywhere come close to the lush artistic work of Carson Ellis on Illimat.
There’s definitely an overall kind of blandly New Age aesthetic here. Switching from Illimat‘s seasonal and tarot theme to a lunar and zodiacal one doesn’t give any spicy witchy notes anywhere in the design or rules to balance the New Age-y feel of the basic symbolism they’ve used. I suppose the intention was to make it more broadly acceptable to those inclined toward an allergy to rich secret society, occult, or even witchy themes, but that seems to me likely to end up triggering another allergy instead for those who might sneeze at just a purely New Age feel.
I would be remiss to mention that there’s a kind of endgame divination included, for which they borrow the term “synastry reading”. The relative balance of the four elements of all four zodiac cards in play are compared to a list on the last three pages at the back of the rulebook. For one example, if the zodiac cards are perfectly balanced, one of each element, the reading is “This symmetry of the elements reflects a perfect balance of energy in the room. You will find harmony within yourself and your surroundings. Appreciate the connections with those at your table.” I suppose that one could simply draw four zodiac cards and derive a reading without actually playing the game per se.
I haven’t played it yet, nor have I contemplated the rules long enough to consider what changes to make when trying this solitaire; but, I’ll probably get around to it eventually.
There’s QR code link to an explainer video on the rules manual. For even more of an explainer about rules and gameplay, watch “Morbid Lunar Dial How To“:
“Gather around the stars in this wickedly-cool, out-of-this-world strategy game brought to you by The Morbid Network! Based on the top True Crime podcast, ‘Morbid,’ this easy-to-learn lightweight strategy game is perfect for anyone fascinated by the stars, astrology, and the mystical arts!”
Um. Holy shit. This arrived in the mail this weekend.
I weep for the kids that end up at this thing, and I’m boggled by the adults who think this is a good idea, even if King James did famously speak like a pirate and, did you know #TrueInternetFact, also loved witches. *cough*
Yes, let’s engage in a little inquisition to see if we can conquer what it would be like to convert the story of Pirates of the Caribbean into one of Christian indoctrination …
Oh no. Not like that! ::face palm::
Let’s open this box that’s arrived at the Reading Room!
It’s a box of books courtesy of Red Wheel / Weiser, including multiple copies, for reasons, of the new edition of Tarot: Mirror of the Soul by Gerd Zeigler, the newest edition of Hermetic Library Anthology Artist David Shoemaker‘s Living Thelema, and more. I’ll post about each separately, but they’ve arrived!
Also, as a reminder, if you want to participate in postal exchange with me, I occasionally send stuff out to certain Patrons as a perk; but, even if you aren’t able to be a Patron, if you send something I’ll send something back! It’s that easy!
And, not for nothing, if you’re a publisher, author, or creative and want to talk about your work, get in touch!
Anyhow, this arrived at Hermetic Library World HQ in the mail. The Jehovah’s Witnesses want to know: “Will suffering ever end? Would you say … • yes? • no? • maybe?”
Also, the answer is, obviously, yes.maybe.no. But, perhaps you’ve a different answer?
A package arrived at the Reading Room!
Let’s take a gander inside!
It’s a stack of my Pulp Magick meme, upgraded a bit from when I first posted it to socials, and then put on postcard merch for Patrons and Postal Exchange! I created this based on the iconic image from the movie Pulp Fiction, but swapped in the heads of Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner instead, and some other touch ups to make it work.
I think that turned out pretty darn good for something mostly meant for funsies. It pretty much holds up even really close!
Looking forward to sending these out soon, but, um, yeah, so, I ended up having to order way more than I needed, so if you want one, just become a Patron on Patreon (or supporter on Ko-Fi, whatever they’re called) with any merch perk, or even just send me something in the mail for postal exchange, and I’ll send one to you too!
Let’s open these three envelopes that just arrived at the Reading Room!
There’s a whole bunch of random fun stuff for Postal Exchange ready for me to share with other people!
Also, as a reminder, if you want to participate in postal exchange with me, I occasionally send stuff out to certain Patrons as a perk; but, even if you aren’t able to be a Patron, if you send something I’ll send something back! It’s really that easy!
Just arrived at the Reading Room, a copy of Trevor Blake’s OVO ‘zine, issue 21, Terminalia.
NEW WORKS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN SINCE 1987
Essays and Art by Trevor Blake including…
Let’s All Share, You Go First Asleep in Rotherham Trigger Warning I Have Met the Enemy Fair Please Think the Worst of Me Sophistication Atheism and Evil – The World Somebody’s Got to Pay Predictions about Same-Sex Marriage – Do Not Worry About What Never Happened – Trevor Responds to His Critics.
The publisher of OVO always likes to hear from readers – and respects their opinions. We therefore invite you to write us a letter or postcard stating frankly what you think of this magazine, and about the publisher generally. We particularly welcome suggestions for other titles you would like us to publish and other classifications and types of magazines that you think should be added to our list. Please keep in mind that it is the fixed policy of OVO to publish the best of both the old and new various categories of reading. See the full list of titles at the end of this magazine. Many readers are buying the new OVO each month and building their own OVO Home Libraries. Your suggestions for improving the editing, production and distribution of OVO are therefore particularly welcome.
‘At every turn in its though, society will find us – waiting.’
This is one of the missing volumes from the new OVO archive reflected at the Hermetic Library, and I’ve got permission from Trevor to make it available! I’ll add that to my to do list and get to it when I am able, but these are hard to get nowadays so I’m glad I was able to find this one. There’s still some others that I’m missing from the archive, so I’d love to hear from anyone with the old digital files saved on some ancient hard drive somewhere, or to talk with someone who’s got the physical issues and would be willing to share.