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Showing posts from March, 2015

Which Butterfly? Looking Ahead on Your Paths

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This got long, so settle in...

If you're going to do magic, practicing some kind of divination is important for getting good results. Divination isn't a simple topic. There are many techniques and many different things it can be used for. So, let's take a step back and think about what divination is and how it works.


First of all, and just as an arbitrary distinction that I've long used, the difference between divination and augury:

Divination is the act of tapping into occult (hidden) currents in order to discover information that you can't access through normal channels. It's an active practice.

Augury is the reading of omens -- signs that the universe sends in order to provide you with additional data you can use. It involves awareness and receptivity.

I don't want to diminish the importance of augury. Being able to read the subtle signs and extract useful information is an extremely valuable life skill. And it's irrelevant whether the source is &quo…

An Introduction to the Mystical Arte of the Project Manager

I'm a PM -- that's a Project or Program Manager -- and I have been for over a decade.

Project managers apply skills in:

CommunicationCollaborationStrategy and goal settingProject planningMotivation and direction of project teamsRisk and issue managementProblem solving They are hired by companies to achieve corporate strategy through the successful completion of project goals. 

So, why is this interesting (unless you're considering a career in project management)?

The Project Management Institute is a global professional organization for project managers. I'll let them speak for themselves. They define a project as:

"...a temporary group activity designed to produce a unique product, service or result.

"A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.
"And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a …

Black Swans on the Wing

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So, once again I'm deviating from my planned postings and schedule to touch on something immediate. Now this gets into a bit of Secret Sun territory, starting as it does with a strange personal "sync," and for that I apologize. But it's also related to the Black Swan Theory as per Taleb.


Last night before bed, I was rereading my digital copy of The Black Swan, reviewing bookmarks and highlights because I'm planning some posts here on the topic. Anyway, at the front of the book he presents a strange thought experiment. Suppose in the months leading up to September 11, 2001, a brave and driven senator battles to get legislation passed to require locks on all cockpit doors. The point of the thought experiment is that 9/11 would have never have happened and this guy would be a completely invisible hero (no one would know he'd averted disaster, airlines might be angry with the cost of the locks, maybe the guy doesn't get reelected, and he feels like a failure)…

Food Susainability -- Efficiency and Fragility

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3/26 -- Edited to correct a mistake below. Animals are pumped full of antibiotics to keep them from getting infections. They are pumped full of hormones to make them grow freakishly fast.

So I have a long list of topics that I want to blog about (and a handful of upcoming posts already done) but I'm tossing those aside in order to talk about something from the news this morning. As you'll be able to tell from this rant, this is a topic I care deeply about.

With the help of everyone's favorite Billionaire Robin Hood, two giant "food product" conglomerates are merging into the 5th largest food company on the planet. Don't bother to watch the video on that link, there's nothing there that's not in the article and it's basically a fawning jerkoff to Buffett and a puff piece on how great this is for the shareholders in the two companies. Here's an even more nauseating article on the merger that includes the following execrable quote:
“Every time you…

Every Little Thing She Does is Magic

There have been some significant changes in the way magicians view magic in recent decades. Chaos magic in particular has moved away from a spirit-driven model, or a will-driven one, to a probability-driven view of magic. That is, magic's effects are on the probability field around various results. This view accounts for a lot of the actual limitations we see with magic (the core example is why your spell didn't win you the lottery).

The chief complaint about this model seems to be that labeling all magic as 'probability shift' makes the results of magic very small. That is limits magicians to only those changes that already have good odds. If you can't affect major changes, then what's the point?

I think there are two answers to this objection:

First, who gets to say what the odds really are? The lottery, for all that it's crafted to be random, has an extremely low level of actual chaos. There's just not a lot of flexibility in the system that you can …

Sustainability

In order to get a solid grip on the work I'm doing now, I've had to find a way to describe things that I've been doing and thinking about for some time, but that didn't have a vocabulary in place that I could use.

The work I'm doing is highly magical, and pointedly liminal, but it's very much outside the realm of spirits, circles, and spells. Or rather, those things are still useful and a part of my practice... but they're, well, they're like walking or driving... stuff I do naturally to get where I'm going. But those techniques don't always inform where to go and how to get there.
It makes sense that I would use the language of my other areas of interest in order to frame my current magical and spiritual work. For example, I'm a PMP (that's Professional Project Manager) in my career, and find the tools of my trade extremely useful for magical work. I also have a strong interest in Taleb's ideas on Black Swans and Anti-fragility (tho…

Three Things Make a Blog

Starting is always the hardest part. Finishing can be equally difficult and, of course, hanging in there is always a challenge. But today I'm focused on starting, for obvious reasons.

When I published my book I started by listing all the things I wish I'd known when I was starting. It was like a treatise for my younger self, and for others who were just moving past the novice stage. In order to write that book, I had to know all the information in it, and more. Which meant that, after writing it, I was myself ready to focus forward again.

My path from that point took me in some very different directions, in my practice and my life.

I'm currently focused on three topics:

Sustainable sorcery -- the practice of using magic to create and support sustainable systems. This includes both practical methods as well as philosophical underpinnings to surviving in a fundamentally unsustainable world.Black swan divination -- using the ideas outlined by Nassim Taleb in his books to creat…